Comedian Dave Spikey speaks out about the 'top heavy' NHS

The Bolton News: Comedian Dave Spikey speaks out about the "top heavy" NHS Comedian Dave Spikey speaks out about the "top heavy" NHS

DAVE Spikey is renowned for his observational quips and stories about the quirks of everyday life.

But when it comes to the NHS, the Bolton funnyman is much more serious.

Dave, who was born in Farnworth, spent his early career working as a biomedical scientist in the haematology laboratory at the then Bolton General Hospital.

The 61-year-old was also involved in hospital amateur dramatics and for years managed to juggle working at the hospital throughout the week and travelling to London for comedy gigs.

The co-writer and star of Phoenix Nights has fond memories of his time at the hospital but is not afraid to voice his criticism of the way the NHS has changed — namely its “top heavy” management structure.

Dave said: “The Royal Bolton is still very important to me. I worked there for years and my kids were born there.

“But a lot has changed. When I first started, there was a hospital secretary, chairman and treasurer and they ran the hospital.

“By the time I had left, we were top heavy with managers. Even I was having to spend time in meetings talking about health and safety and my ‘personal growth’, rather than actually doing my job.

“The NHS budget cuts seem to be hitting people working at the coal face.”

The haematology department where Dave used to work is now part of pathology at the Royal Bolton.

It is integral to patient care and diagnosis of disease at both the hospital and in the community when it comes to running any sort of test.

The Chorley-based star says he is staggered by the volumes of tests now ran every day in his former department.

He added: “We used to do about four to five tests a day and be on call at night for emergencies when I was there. By the time I’d left, we could do about 100 a day.

“But it was different world when I first started. You would go onto the wards to pick up the samples and you knew everyone.”

Comments (6)

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9:54am Fri 28 Feb 14

Janbur says...

There is too much time spent on paper work and not enough time spent with patients,far too many bosses and not enough on the shop floor
There is too much time spent on paper work and not enough time spent with patients,far too many bosses and not enough on the shop floor Janbur
  • Score: 8

11:11am Fri 28 Feb 14

I, Ludicrous says...

Are his test results back?
Are his test results back? I, Ludicrous
  • Score: 3

11:38am Fri 28 Feb 14

Puffin-Billy says...

It should be: "...now run every day...".
It should be: "...now run every day...". Puffin-Billy
  • Score: 1

10:10pm Fri 28 Feb 14

Chris Webster says...

Well said Dave. Too many chiefs & not enough indians, hey. I assume that anyone still working for the NHS daren't speak out for fear of reprisal/sacking. So the monsters smugly continue on.
Well said Dave. Too many chiefs & not enough indians, hey. I assume that anyone still working for the NHS daren't speak out for fear of reprisal/sacking. So the monsters smugly continue on. Chris Webster
  • Score: 5

9:45am Sat 1 Mar 14

Hulton Park says...

I always think of the line in the TV medical series "Cardiac Arrest":

"We spend years training a generation's brightest and most capable people before letting them loose on the wards - where they then implement policies decided by someone with a 2:2 in geography from the university of Umbongo."
I always think of the line in the TV medical series "Cardiac Arrest": "We spend years training a generation's brightest and most capable people before letting them loose on the wards - where they then implement policies decided by someone with a 2:2 in geography from the university of Umbongo." Hulton Park
  • Score: 4

12:05am Sun 2 Mar 14

m.nealon says...

I worked in a paediatric hospital for 20 years and was working before Trusts were introduced to run hospitals. There is the major problem. Non medically minded people cannot manage hospitals successfully. When you have someone from Trust management demanding a consultant working in Theatres attend a meeting at short notice and not understanding why he couldn't attend speaks volumes about the lack of knowledge the Trusts display regarding how the medical profession works. Enough said.

Only those with medical knowledge should be in charge. It's like asking a monkey to perform a major operation.
I worked in a paediatric hospital for 20 years and was working before Trusts were introduced to run hospitals. There is the major problem. Non medically minded people cannot manage hospitals successfully. When you have someone from Trust management demanding a consultant working in Theatres attend a meeting at short notice and not understanding why he couldn't attend speaks volumes about the lack of knowledge the Trusts display regarding how the medical profession works. Enough said. Only those with medical knowledge should be in charge. It's like asking a monkey to perform a major operation. m.nealon
  • Score: 3

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