Posted by: Witch Doctor | April 12, 2007

MMC – The Lost Tribes – NCCG (1)



The big green bottle spells are much more difficult to make than the little blue bottle ones. It takes many thousands of years of training, knowledge, experience and judgment in green bottle magic before a witch doctor can safely concoct these spells. It takes another thousand years to learn how and when to use them. The little blue bottle ones on the other hand can be picked up in a century or so. The witching community takes great care that only those witches that have reached the “Green Bottle Standard” are allowed to practice independently.

Blue bottle spells are used for inserting a silly idea into a human mind – easy peasy.

Witches have great difficulty getting to grips with the peculiarities of the human brain. Green bottle spells are used for entering these strange thought processes in order to understand human actions better. There is a tiny group of Super Witch Doctors who even have the ability to alter these human thought processes and change the world. If the spell works, the change is always for the better. There is a shortage of them at the moment with very obvious consequences. I’m glad I’m not one of those witches because it’s very exhausting and they always die young.

Anyway, I’ve been doing some green bottle magic. I wanted to find out the working of the minds responsible for Modernising Medical Careers. I tried the spell on Sir Liam Donaldson first but couldn’t get it to work, probably due to my lapsed CPD, so I had to move on to some other members of the team. I think it worked OK, but this is very difficult magic, so there is scope for a few errors.


Apparently the problem lies in the fact that we will need more doctors – not less. This will be brought about for many reasons, some globally. I’ll not go into these just now. The current conceived shortage is just a “blip” due to bad accounting errors, overspends and a bit of spin. Its not real. The perception of looming unemployment facilitates change, however, so its sensible to keep quiet about shortages at the moment.

The focus is on the “Lost Tribes” because it is hoped they will eventually solve the problem. Because of this they will soon be wooed. Eventually, everything they want they will be given, but there is no rush for the moment. The extent of the “Lost Tribes” is not known, because they hide quietly, beavering away, often in the darkest corners of the NHS. The fact that their numbers are unknown makes life rather difficult for the MMC team, so they are trying frantically to obtain more information.

Workforce planners think in terms of whole time equivalent (WTE’s) posts. The “Lost Tribes” are difficult to quantify in this way because a significant proportion work part time, some as little as one day a week. By head count there may be say 12,500 approximately, but this cannot easily be translated into WTE’s. A substantional number of these doctors will have graduated outside the UK. These doctors may be more likely to be full time, but who knows. Many of the the remainder will be women doctors with family commitments where part-time work is the norm.


The “Lost Tribes” were also the neglected tribes. Unlike their colleagues who were in training posts, the lost tribes were not expected to participate in appraisal, job plans, continuing professional development and few received career advice. Many were even unclear about their terms and conditions. And no one seemed to care much.

Some of the lost tribe felt happy about this. Work was a small but important part of a fuller life. These doctors would have looked askance at the documentation their colleagues in training were expected to produce. It would have eaten into their part-time hours and taken away much of the pleasure of going to work. These lost tribes enjoy work partly because the job they are doing involves direct patient care and is relatively free from bureaucracy. Some of these doctors by beavering away hard, accumulating lots of experience and studying in their own time, became regional experts in a limited field of medicine.

Others felt neglected.


Then, after all this time, along came benevolent Great Uncle MMC. It was in the interests of MMC not to neglect these doctors any more. There were plans for them. Great Uncle MMC said he was sorry for being uncaring for decades and he quickly became the favourite uncle offering loads of treats in the form of an overarching initiative that would touch them all.


After all these years.

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