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Everything posted by Rafar

  1. Honestly, you lot don't have a clue about how this government has been treating disabled people. ATOS have clearly been tasked with getting 25% of claimants off DLA prior to the introduction of PIPs (which will probably see another 20% off the benefit, or with severe decreases). They are doing this by running interviews which have been widely reported as fixed, prejudged and unfair. Intermittent disabilities have been ignored if they were not manifest on the day of the interview, doctor's judgement have been ignored for the worst kind of call-centre style scripted interviews. All in order to push people into a jobs market that is already dead and expecting people with disabilities to compete with those who do not in that environment. Many disabled people are terrified for how their future will be. Osborne is viewed as central to that fear. As is ATOS, probably wrongly as they are just doing the government's bidding. All to deal with fraud in a benefit that has one of the lowest rates of fraud in the welfare system (due to the obvious fact that disabilities are usually pretty bloody obvious). That's why he got booed. Not because they were all public sector workers sulking, or left wingers, or parasites, or whichever fantasy version of the public you wish to project on them.
  2. Really, did it? It said "52.5 years after Israel is reformed" did it? No, it didn't, and you well know it. back to LaHaye with you, oh Doom Gloater.
  3. Alright, I will; Who did actually invent the word "robot" and what does it mean?
  4. Well, I can easily make this a lot more complex than the absurd £100 per year for a website estimate. 1) Upkeep of data. Who can do it, how is it done. 2) Administration of access to data. 3) "Details of children" What do we mean by "Details", presumably we will have a single record for a child, followed by a series or incidents entered by people assigned in (2) above. 4) Presumably there will be a way to associate children with other children, both by incident and by residence. This could easily get very complex. 5) Reporting on the database. We will need ways to look for patterns in the database which is probably going to end up going down a neural network model for intuitive pattern matching. This is to spot trends and / or unknown connections. Broadly speaking it is expensive and there are certain to be a lot of spongers ripping it off, it is probably useless, but the idea that it could be hosted on a little server in someone's basement for a few thousand is just silly. You don't even know what the brief was.
  5. Ahh, MEHT. My favourite trust. They only fired their last turnaround guy a couple of months ago so they must need one to finish his fine work. After all, the other consultant had only been busily turning-it-around for over 6 years so it must have been a big job.
  6. That's just silly. Massive reorganisations and redundancy rounds are not things that HR departments do on a regular basis and are very complex. Hiring a speciatist in these circumstances is hardly a sign of a poor HR department.
  7. Our trusts are looking at 30% admin and management cuts, imposed by the SHA. We've just been re-orged to roughly 1/2 the management layer (at about 1/10th the cost as the old lot of contractors were laid off and recruitment was permie only) with a couple of them being moved into delivery roles rather than management. So far it is working well.
  8. Not to mention the IT costs in seperating them all. Suddenly we went from a world in which everything administrative was basically open to all to one where everything has to be carefully secured from other NHS trusts to prevent them gaining competitive advantage. As an example, it used to be (7 years ago) that if one trust came up with a good idea then others would just filtch the idea, often along with the plans and do it themselevs and everyone was happy. Now you each have to develop it for yourselves.
  9. God, that's refreshing to hear someone else say. I've been banging on about it for ages at work. If they keep cutting out roles then we will (and have) suffer a serious loss of skills. As we lose those skills we lose the ability to support certain functions. If those functions cannot be supported then they are going to have to go. I do the DBA work. If I go then they don't have anyone who knows anything about databases. So either they buy in a DBA (on about 3 times my salary as contract rates) or they stop having databases that can are supported. There isn't a third option that actually saves money really, but everyone is carrying on pretending as if there is. You could buy DBA support from another organisation, but no way you would get it cheaper. You could send people on training courses (expensive and ultimately pointless as everyone is already doing two people's jobs). It comes down to, if you want to save money by getting rid of people, you lose the ability to do things. It is no bloody good pretending that isn't true.
  10. NHS IT (Boo Hiss!, but someone's got to keep the bleedin' clinical systems running...) We're watching lots of people getting out as our local NHS decices to carry out plans that will vastly increase IT spend for no real benefit. These plans were, of course, set in motion in the good days of free money. There is a general understanding that there are hard times ahead but no-one really seems to appreciate how hard they are going to be. I'm expecting to see us shredded and virtually incapable of even keeping the lights on, let alone advancing. The mood in general is one of "Que Sera" though. No real doom and gloom, though a few of the young ones who haven't had their ambition crushed are moaning about the lack of advancement opportunities and the sense that roles aren't being filled. They'll get used to battening down the hatches soon enough.
  11. This is also part of it, I agree. I once worked to the full SSADM system on a piece of software for a major public sector org and it did have its advantages. One the upside the project worked first time, every time, fulfilled all the requirements and was very well receieved. On the downside it took a team of 6 6 months to do what I would have expected (when I worked in the private sector) to have taken 3 staff 2 months to have completed. Admittedly the private sector version would have included some "Whoops, we didn't notice that" and "You meant what by that?" post implementation reviews, but there we are. One issue here is that the same rigorous requirements are followed whether it is a tax credits online system or a PCT's brochureware site. For the credits system, yes, vital to get right. For the brochureware site, going by the usually dismal analytics, most of the money is a waste of time, not because the site doesn't ultimately work, but because the "investment" vs "gain for the public" ratio is so low. If only I had the heart to go out there and milk the public sector a bit I could probably be doing very well for myself by now, but I am too damn stupid. Ethics, who'd 'av 'em?
  12. Because, and I say this as someone who works as a web developer in the public sector, they are such bloody suckers for a posh presentation and a glib sales pitch. I do everything for, I kid you not, a max of 10% of the costs that they get when they go outside, but they still like to go outside because they think "Expensive = good". I try to bring them down to earth and point out that most of the time they don't even really need "Good", just "Good enough" but often don't get a look in. Still, I got a £70,000 site upgrade scuppered and cancelled last week with a few choice words to the right people, so that's all right.
  13. Well, you certainly weren't producing a reasoned argument. True. Still, the entire top tier of my org just got scythed off so maybe something will change. Where is this culture of "Anti-competence" you speak of? I see neither hide nor hair of it around here. Good people get advanced, poor people get ditched. The main difference is that actually sacking people is pretty difficult.
  14. Yes, you probably can imagine such a conversation. I can imagine a conversation between a Gruffalo and a ManBearPig. In neither case does our imagination bear any relation to an actual argument. Where do I talk about particular certificates? I am talking about a specialised job role, not a piece of paper. You know, the ability to do a job better than someone who was just told to add it onto their normal workload? I've seen some cocked up projects run by ex-engineers who just got pushed into PM roles and some very well run ones by PMs who knew virtually nothing about IT. Are you seriously suggesting that the whole concept of specialisation into roles is a nonsense?
  15. Let's say that they are hiring a contracts manager because they wanted to use them as a doorstop... The fact is that no-one here knows why they were recruiting a contracts manager. I was assuming that they were doing so because they had some contracts that needed managing, but you are right, they could be doing it because they wanted someone to blow up party balloons. Let's make it easier. A large organisation has contracts to be managed. They assess that they need someone to do this role. They therefore hire someone to do the role. I assume that you think that they were wrong in their assesment, but I don't see where you get the information required to make that judgement. I'm not really making a comparison, merely an illustrative point. You assume that the public sector body has incorrectly assessed the need for a contracts manager, while you assume that the private sector body hasn't. This shows more about your base assumptions than it does about the validity of your opinion.
  16. Sounds familiar. I had to deal with an idiot who got the same company which was tendering for building a server room to spec out the Servers, and the room, and agree what was a reasonable price and, get this, judge other supplier's quotes as to whether they met the required spec. *bangs head on wall* On the other hand, the culture of slacking sounds very unfamiliar to me. Maybe my problem is that I have to deal with too many frontline staff.
  17. You are one for blame aren't you? Not blaming anything on anything other than human nature. If you get offered a contract by a bunch of numpties who don't really know what they are doing that says "We'll give you loads of money for old rope" you are going to grab it with both hands and wring it for all it is worth. There's nothing wrong with that (from an economics perspective, of course. From an ethical standpoint it is repugnant, but you can't run a company being a whining ninny in such circumstances else someone a bit more ruthless will come and snatch it from you). perhaps such things could be limited by, oh, I don't know, hiring a decent contracts manager rather than relying on unqualified staff to just work more efficiently. Ahh, thanks. that's really sweet of you. Yes indeed. No argument there. Perhaps rather than just getting Bob from accounts to knock out the contracts, they should hire a proper contracts manager.
  18. Well, it comes down to whether you think the internal market model is anything other than an excuse to make the same sort of illusory savings as the cleaning contracts. Pile of ******** if you ask me. Just going to end up with the public purse shafted by the private sector, as per normal.
  19. Apparantely you didn't work in the public sector, you slacked off in the public sector. Shame on you. Yes, your point? If there is work to do it gets done, but in order to get it done either (1) People are slacking off like you were, or (2) They have to cut other things out to get it done. This is a corporate strategy issue, if you think that what they were doing is of low enough importance to use them as temporary cover then great, if not then you either have to hire a new person to cover for their missed work. Oh God, who isn't sick of the red tape. I was sick of it in the private sector, I'm sick of it in the public sector. I blame endless poorly thought out initiatives from the DoH requiring yet another 6 months of someone's time. Dodging the paperwork in order to get some actual work done is very frustrating. Just as it was in the private sector. The main difference was that in the private sector the CEO would change and his edicts would be lost in the corporate haze, so you could just ignore them most of the time. In the public sector they stay around for ever getting mouldier and mankier, sucking in everyone's time and will to live. Bloody commissioning / provider split. 3 years after the grand PCT merger, 2 years after the grand PCT split, 2 years after the great SHA mix up...and on and on. probably going to merge the PCT Commissioning bodies again in a couple of years and split the Provider arms into smaller specific bodies. Then before you know it we'll be right back to HAs. The fortune in rebranding, sorting out IT infrastructure, HR costs, stationary and general wear and tear on humanity is horrifying. I wish they'd shut up and go away. Bit harsh to miss out the sergeants I think.
  20. No, private sector and public sector in roughly equal measure. Just a convention point, when you write in quotes it usually means that you are directly quoting someone, when obviously, since I never mentioned efficiency drives, you cannot be. Sometimes the way to be more efficient is to get people to do things on a tight budget, sometimes the way to be more efficient is to hire a specialist to do a specialist role. You can't be so ignorant of the corporate world not to know this surely? Let's examine this one in more detail. lets say that the old contracts manager, with responsibility for, say, £10,000,000 worth of contracts, has retired. rather than hiring a new contracts manager, how would you suggest a company like IBM, handle the situation?
  21. So, you're going with "Muddle through the best you can". A sure fire way to improve the quality of NHS contracts management and avoid being ripped off nicely. That's like saying "Not writing enough code? You need to write code faster!" This is possibly true, but it is equally possible that you need more coders, and that the costs of writing the code more quickly may outweigh the benefits of not paying more salaries. Still, you seem quite entrenched in your position, so you are, of course, welcome to it.
  22. Not really. The solution to a problem like "We have lots of contracts but no-one is managing them" is to either not have the contracts, muddle through the best you can or hire a contracts manager. This is business logic of the simplest sort surely...Are you advocating a muddle through approach? Do you imagine that any private sector healthcare provider *won't* have a contracts manager?
  23. I have no particular knowledge of any of these posts, nor any need to defend them, but let's pick one as an example. The Contracts manager. One of three things has happened there; 1) The old contracts manager has left 2) The PCT now has so many contracts with private organisations that they need to take on extra staff to cope with the load, lest they find themselves badly stiffed by a contract that was poorly put together 3) It is a new organisation which will need to manage its contracts Now, what happens if they do not hire a contracts manager? Either the contracts get handled by an unqualified admin person (In which case they will get fleeced) or they will have to be handled by the seperate departments which require the contracts (in which case they will be unco-ordinated and poorly managed, so they will probably get fleeced or sued) Which other organisation that run millions of pounds worth of contracts would you suggest shouldn't have a contracts manager? Maybe we should look at the Project manager role? The NHS is constantly opening new services, closing others, merging them or implementing new systems. Would you like these projects run by someone who just fell into the role with a bit of PRINCE training or would you like them managed by a professional? Perfomance and Quality manager? You don't like it when you read about poorly performing NHS trusts do you? Ward managers? You can just pretend that a huge organisation like the NHS will work if we just staff it with doctors and nurses, but that would be like trying to run Microsoft on network engineers and coders. has Microsoft collapsed? No, then why do you think it is hiring for any roles other than coders and engineers? You may feel like a man of the people, but you are arguing from the most absurdist ivory tower there is.
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