I must confess to being a little jaded today after a very late night (or early morning) following the Health Insurance Awards last night. This is the annual black tie bash where the industry honours good work and, as importantly, an opportunity to dress up, enjoy the glamorous surroundings of the Great Room at the Grosvenor House Hotel and catch up with friends and colleagues.
This year, like every other, the chat didn’t just include personal gossip, there was also some debate (admittedly over a drink or two) about the state of the industry, the challenges facing healthcare businesses and the economic climate in general. I noticed one thing that was very different this year was that the NHS was mentioned with more frequency. Whichever part of the healthcare delivery or funding landscape they occupy, it is now crucial that everyone understands the current state of affairs in the public sector.
If last night’s chat was anything to go by, those working in the Health Insurance industry (and not just the policy makers) clearly have an appetite to get to grips with the Health and Social Care Bill, appreciate the threats and opportunities that reform may present and have an empathy for the challenges facing NHS staff and concerns of patients. This is a very good thing.
On a much lighter note – I had decided that, thanks to my delicate, post party state, I would try and keep the commentary a bit more cheerful. So I was happy to read an article in today’s Daily Telegraph entitled ‘ Frisky students at hospital warned’. The article tells of two medical students – how can I put this – ‘making out’ on a sofa outside a lecture theatre at Southampton General Hospital (SGH) Following a complaint from an unwilling spectator an associate Dean of the University sent an email to medical students advising them to ‘find a more comfortable place that it out of public view and off NHS property’
I would like to thank the frisky couple for providing that rare gem - an NHS story that actually made me smile. I also have a bit of advice for these frolicking medical students. In a few years you will be overworked, stressed, underfunded medics working in a profession under unbelievable pressure. So in the meantime - get your fun while you can, and I hope that SGH will hold many happy memories of ‘sofa moments’ for you.
Who knows what lies in store for you and your employer, the NHS, in the future.