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Will ‘Working from Home’ become ‘The New Normal’ in Britain?

The head of Goldman Sachs, CEO David Solomon, told a conference today that working from home won’t be an option for Goldman Sachs employees and suggested it’s “an aberration” instead of the new normal.

Mr. Solomon says that GS needs its employees at the office and that the new crop of interns expected this summer won’t be able to buy-in to the company’s corporate culture without the ‘mentoring’ of new employees.

“In particular Mr Solomon was worried about an incoming “class” of about 3,000 new recruits, who wouldn’t get the “direct mentorship” they need. “I am very focused on the fact that I don’t want another class of young people arriving at Goldman Sachs in the summer remotely,” he said.” — BBC

While some might be skeptical, I believe there are some organizations that don’t work were employees to work from home.

One example might be the military. Obviously, wars need to be fought where the war is actually occurring.

Another might be airline pilots — but hey, the future is happening every day! — and one day soon airline pilots might be flying their passengers from one end of the country to the other via their home computer, “Honey, don’t spill your Pepsi on Daddy’s keyboard, he’s busy flying his plane,” Hehehe.

In fact, the entire tourism sector would be impossible to manage using work from home employees, although certain positions might be able to be moved off-site, such as check-in staff, accounting department, and other jobs that don’t require a human to be present.


Legitimate Exceptions Aside, There’s a Huge Societal Upside to Working from Home

Let’s pretend that fully half of all UK jobs could be accomplished via work from home. That isn’t out of the realm of possibility, IMHO.

That means half as many people driving or taking the train to and from the workplace — which would cut traffic congestion in UK cities, and the trains might run on time and not be packed with (potentially) COVID-breathing human beings — all the way to the workplace and all the way home.

Office towers might become lightly populated during the week, although they might open 7-days-a-week, as opposed to Monday-Friday only.

All of which would save Britain’s NHS billions annually on account of far fewer patients catching respiratory illnesses such as, but not limited to COVID-19 and its subsequent variants, and the UK would be on track to meet its Paris Agreement CO2 reduction obligations. Both benefits are very good things for the UK.

Instead of people spending a small fortune on petrol, car insurance, train tickets, bus and/or taxi fares, not to mention all the money they usually spend on work-related clothing and fashion accessories, they’d be spending it on home improvements — like creating a decent office space in the home, or a workshop, and better internet, computer, and mobile phone connectivity.

If they spend the same amount fixing-up their home office or workshop as they used to spend to get back and forth to work — it’s likely to be a good investment as improvements to the property would be reflected in the value of the home and its final selling price should they ever decide to sell.

Time to invest in big box home improvement stores!

 

Written by John Brian Shannon


Digital roles top the list of jobs on the rise in 2021 (World Economic Forum)

Work from Home technologies likely to be adopted by 2025. WEF


How to Protect Britons AND Help Developing Nations Beat COVID-19

It seems that everyone wants to vaccinate 100% of the people in the UK so Britons can feel safe, AND ONLY THEN, send surplus UK vaccines to developing nations to help them beat COVID-19. Which sounds reasonable on the face of it. After all, why should Britons risk thousands more deaths in the country in order to help others who live oceans away from the UK?

However, this is a false narrative and any epidemiologist worth their salt will tell you so…


By Vaccinating Only 64% of a Given Population, You Effectively Prevent Re-Transmission of the Virus

Yes, it’s a fact. If you live in the UK, Australia, or Canada (for three easy examples) and your healthcare system has vaccinated 64% of the population against a virus, they’ve effectively beaten that virus. Forever!

“How can that be?” you ask.

It’s because the remaining 36% of the population AREN’T riding in the same elevator. Obviously.

Further, within that 36% group, responsible adults these days are wearing a face mask and washing their hands frequently.

Additionally, many people in that 36% cohort have already had the virus — either knowingly or asymptomatically — therefore, they can neither catch COVID-19 nor pass it on to other people. That’s important to know. Which may turn out to be the best immunity of all, because that’s how nature has been saving us from pathogens for millennia and the proof it works is that there’s now 7.8 billion of us on planet Earth.

Of course, this assumes that entry to the UK is restricted to those who’ve either had the virus or received a vaccination — in either case, they aren’t able to re-transmit the Coronavirus to Britons.

However, EVEN IF the borders were thrown wide open, once you’ve vaccinated 64% of the population in the country it’s almost impossible for the re-transmission of COVID-19 to occur because many of the non-vaccinated 36% of Britons will have already had the disease (making it impossible for them to either catch or re-transmit COVID-19) or will be wearing masks and washing their hands frequently (making it almost impossible for them to either catch or re-transmit COVID-19) or those Britons will never come into close contact with visitors from another country (who WON’T have COVID-19 because they were properly screened before they boarded an aircraft to carry them to the UK)

Ergo, the chances of Coronavirus-infected visitors to the UK infecting Britons with COVID-19 are almost nil once 64% of Britons have been vaccinated.


Why Doesn’t the NHS Vaccinate 64% of Britons & Then Send the Surplus Vaccine to Developing Nations?

So obviously, that’s the thing to do!

Once the UK hits the magic number of 64% of Britons vaccinated — and with continued screening at the country’s borders for potentially infected visitors, and with proper mask-wearing and proper hand-washing for Britons, there’s no reason for ‘lockdown’ to continue, for closed ports of entry to the UK, or for quarantining of visitors to the UK — the rest of the UK vaccine supply can then be re-routed to developing nations that are members of the Commonwealth of Nations.

In that way, next year’s UK farm workers (many of whom hail from Commonwealth nations) will have been vaccinated courtesy of UK Foreign Aid, thereby helping to keep the UK’s food production safe and able to meet demand uninterrupted throughout the UK’s extended harvest season.

By making surplus vaccines available to those developing Commonwealth nations, the UK protects its home-grown food production and can credit the value of those vaccines against the UK Aid budget as a payment-in-kind, thereby helping to maintain the UK’s committent to spend .7% of its GDP on foreign aid.

And that’s the way it’s done people! Stick with science AND help developing nations to vaccinate their people — some of whom will be picking your fruit and veg in the coming months. Think about it…

Written by John Brian Shannon


Related Articles:

  • Vaccine optimization for COVID-19: Who to vaccinate first? (ScienceMag.org)

Affordable Daycare for Working Parents in the Post-COVID Era

by John Brian Shannon

Most people who work in Britain’s National Health Service have children — whether those NHS workers are Doctors, Surgeons or other professionals, or are Hospital maintenance staff — the vast majority of them have children who live at home.

Which isn’t a problem when there’s no Coronavirus going ’round.

But during the first wave of the COVID-19 Coronavirus, many parents were forced to choose between going to work so they can pay their mortgage, or staying at home to care for their children. A terrifying choice for parents. And it created a terrifying problem for the NHS because at the time the national healthcare service needed the maximum number of staff — NHS staff were booking time off work to stay at home with their kids.

Fortunately, the NHS has a list of former employees and another list of people who had applied to work for the NHS but hadn’t yet been selected. This worked as a kind of pressure relief valve, although it couldn’t replace the vast number of Moms or Dads who took leave to care for their youngsters.

And that, friends, isn’t the best way to run a railroad!


Daycare Located Near the Workplace for Working Parents

Now that the second COVID-19 wave is starting, some jurisdictions in Canada, the U.S. and Australia are telling parents that school opening dates will be delayed, perhaps indefinitely. And I expect the same will happen in the UK over the coming weeks as the second wave hits with even greater impact than the first wave.

And again the NHS will have parents taking time off work to take care of their suddenly school-less children. Of course, as I wrote above, there are some, repeat some former NHS people and some future hires that the health service can access to alleviate staffing shortages during the second wave, but it won’t be enough to cover the shortfall.

It’s no wonder that healthcare workers were posting images of themselves on social media earlier this year to show us what it looks like to work 12-15 hours per day in a Hospital while wearing uncomfortable PPE and working in unusually crowded conditions with overtired co-workers. Not the ideal situation for healthcare outcomes.

What the NHS needs to do is to offer free daycare for parents and locate it within one block of the Hospital where one or both of the parents work.

Mom (or Dad) who works at the Hospital simply drops junior off at the daycare facility located across the street from the Hospital, and then picks up the child on the way home — for as many days as school remains closed. So obvious!

This should’ve started in the 1950’s when women began working away from home. And not only the NHS should’ve been doing this since then, but the National Healthcare Service serves as a poignant example for this discussion.

All medium-to-large companies should offer free daycare within one block of their factory, office tower, or retail shopping mall: It would be a major benefit to working parents, it would be a benefit to companies so they don’t have workers taking time off work to look after their kids, and it would be a benefit to society.

That’s why it should be mandated by legislation, backed by educators of preschool and school age children, and backed by companies.

Perhaps a tax break for companies that purchase and operate an appropriately-sized daycare centre across the street from their location is the way to get it done — Pronto!