The National Health Service (NHS) in Great Britain has been seen better days. When first created, under the Labour government of Clement Attlee’s, the NHS was a model for public healthcare. In 1990 after decades of under-funding one of the most controversial reforms was pushed forward. The National Health Service & Community Care Act 1990 introduced an "internal market" into the NHS, whereby Health Authorities ceased to run hospitals directly but instead "purchased" care from their own or other authorities' hospitals. The main controversy sorrounding the NHS relates to its' ability to deliver services hyginically, quickly and cost effectively – currently the NHS carries a deficit of GBP £948 million!
Controversy over the NHS took a new turn when several hospitals in Glasgow announced they where using iPod music players to train new staff. The iPods give new recruits to the hospitals an "audio induction" to the workplace, which is followed by a computer-based knowledge test. The audio tracks where developed by Dr Maggie Haertsch, a lecturer at a nursing school, who become inspired by the self-guided audio tours offered in art galleries and museums. Hospital managers at NHS Greater Glasgow say the iPod tours can be used to train staff about issues like workplace safety, infection control and coping with violence (?). The NHS in Glasgow claims the scheme "is a prudent use of public money". However, managers refused to say how many iPods have been bought, how much they cost and how they can be better value for money than printed information.
The average taxpayer in Scotland and England has to wait the equivalent of 80 music tracks before being attended at an A&E department and the equivalent of 2,800 music tracks before getting knee replacement surgery. We welcome innovation in the health care sector, but wonder about the safety of having medical staff walking around wards when one of their primary senses is fully engaged. In the spirit of cooperation, Dark Matter Politics has provided Patricia Hewitt, Secretary of State for Health with a list of suggested listening tracks - your suggestions are welcome as we are looking for a diverse range of music styles and artists...
Beds are burning - Midnight Oil
Doctor Feelgood - Motley Crue
Doctor! Doctor! - Thompson Twins
Nightshift - The Commodores
Physical - Olivia Newton John
The Reflex - Duran Duran
She Blinded Me With Science - Thomas Dolby
Hospital Song - Ben Folds Five
Cuts like a knife - Bryan Adams
I See Red - Split Enz
The Death Song - Marilyn Manson
Wait - White Lion