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Those who can do, those who can't police

I remember a disparaging phrase from my past 'those who can do, those who can't teach'.

My experience this week leaves me to think that a current adaption would be 'those who can do, those who can’t police'. I mean this with no criticism to the Police Force but to those who blindly and wastefully apply regulations for their own sake.So what were the experiences that led me to these thoughts? I flew to Florence this weekend, but before getting to the plane I had to go through security. There are long queues, and some security officers looking into the scanning machines and other officers standing by to deal with potential problems. I watched this carefully, and followed the orders removing all metallic objects, my belt, and putting my toiletries in a clear plastic bag in a tray.

I went through the metal detector without beeping and waited for the tray with my possessions. I watched it come out of the scanner, stop, go back into the scanner, and then to my bemusement be taken aside by a security officer. I waited until another security officer had finished his work before bringing the tray to me. He confirmed with me that the tray was indeed mine, and then proceeded to tell me my transparent bag was too large. Let me tell you, it was not large, but I decided to say nothing as it was 5:30am and I did not think I could necessarily control the words falling out of my mouth.

The security man took out the deodorant stick, toothpaste and  hayfever spray, and put them into a slightly smaller plastic bag. He informed me that the tray would have to be rescanned. I can’t imagine why, but it was, and some 20 mins after walking through the metal detector I walked into the departure lounge.

Given that resources are stretched, this was a utter waste of my time, the officer’s time and the resources available. I suspect that there is a template somewhere that puts a positive spin on recording this.

The other experience, much more uplifting was visiting a practice who were struggling with their finances last year. Since then, after meeting with the PCT who offered absolutely nothing, they have restructured their practice staffing, have increased the list size and started a number of non-nhs activities all of which have increased their profits by 15%. Hooray!

Looking ahead, with the CQC, revalidation, another new contract, it seems inevitable that all those who 'do' will be suffocated by those who police.

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