Friday, 15 April 2011

Think positive

As it’s Friday, the weekend has started and the blossom on the trees carries a promise of Spring I have decided to write a positive blog about the state provision of health in the UK.

I’m a great believer in Karma so I’ll try to bank some good luck by sending kind thoughts to the poor beleaguered Andrew Lansley. Being UK Secretary of State for Health right now must be feeling like carrying the worst type of poisoned chalice.

But of course it didn’t need to be that way. If consultation had really meant a two way exchange of views and listening meant hearing and then acting accordingly, we may well be on our way to some sensible, cost effective changes in the way care is delivered in the NHS.

A little unkind maybe, but highly amusing anagram of Lansley’s name is ‘ensnared wally’ (courtesy of @furrycanary).

So Mr Lansley, to avoid that moniker sticking – here is some friendly advice and positive thoughts for you…

Be very grateful that your boss, who was perhaps a little foolish in giving you such a free reign with the reform plans, is sticking by you. Not only that, his deputy, and many of your conservative colleagues are towing the party line too.

Be relieved that people aren’t baying for your blood. Even though the Royal College of Nurses unanimously passed a vote of no confidence in you, they have not asked for your resignation.

Accept that although your intentions are good – you have got the fundamentals of this reform wrong.

Be encouraged that there is a way to save face and do the right thing. Ensure that the forum to discuss the ‘tweaking’ includes stakeholders from all along the patient pathway.

Acknowledge that hospital doctors and nurses, in the main, do a fantastic job and should have some significant say in the commissioning process.

Protect innovation – this is a major concern. How can GP’s decide what new techniques in surgery should be allowed?

Take heart from the fact that there is so much commitment from the 1 million plus employees of the NHS who really want you to get it right.

Take advantage of the expertise available to you. Please use my blog dated 22 March where I listed most the organisations who have voiced their reservations. I’m sure they all have some very helpful suggestions for you.


‘Once we realise that imperfect understanding is the human condition, there is no shame in being wrong, only in failing to correct our mistakes’ (George Soros)

If you listen, learn, consult, amend and adapt, you will not only have saved your political reputation, you will have started to save the NHS too.

Have a great weekend.


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