Friday, 8 March 2013

What a difference a week makes – not.

It really is same old same old at the moment in UK health.

David Nicholson hangs on:
With the tenacity of a desperate mountain climber teetering above a crevasse, the Chief Executive of the NHS grips to his position. Insisting ‘I am the right man to lead the NHS’ his performance at the parliamentary select committee hearing this week served only to confirm that this man is either seriously lacking in a layer of human emotion and humility, or is incapable of showing that he really does care. Either way, this is not the type of persona that the NHS needs right now. Word on the street is that he will be gone by August, so if that’s the case, why not let him go now? Apparently he has a ‘tight grip on the NHS’. If his grip was as tight on the organisation to achieve the right balance between quality and cost as it is on his job maybe there would be some hope. This man ain’t for shifting. No change there then

Julie Bailey and Cure the NHS continue to impress:
And long may she continue to voice the concerns of millions. Speaking outside the Houses of Parliament with her comments on Nicholson’s culpability, the compelling Ms Bailey was, as always, calm, eloquent and convincing. Her late mother, Bella would be proud of her – and so should all of us. Keep doing what you are doing Julie and all your friends and colleagues at Cure The NHS.

‘Billions in extra cash fails to stop the rot in the NHS’ (Daily Telegraph)
A report in the UK press this week told how Britain is slipping down the ranking in public health, compared to other Western countries. Life expectancy is increasing – which in itself could be depressing as our pension pots run out – but we are now 14th in the list of 19. I would be more interested to see a table listing quality of life and health and wellbeing – just being alive doesn’t tell the whole story. But the key point is that spending has increased from £46 billion in 1990 to £122 billion this year but we are not seeing an improvement in the health of the Nation. The effects of a past generation of smokers, and a new generation of the obese and inactive who eat junk food continue to pile on the pressure for our struggling state funded system. How do we stop the rot? We are still looking for answers.

Jeremy Hunt attacks 'complacent' hospitals (BBC)
Apparently Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health will announce during a speech today  that ‘too many hospitals are coasting along, settling for meeting minimum standards’ He will ‘attack a culture of "complacency" and "low aspirations", which he believes is holding the NHS in England back’. Mmm – so that would be a culture led by a Chief Executive who has a ‘tight grip’ on the NHS? So that’s another thing that doesn’t seem to be changing – the disconnect between logic, good sense and NHS reform.

Change for change’s sake is bad. Change to improve, innovate, rationalise and consolidate is good. What a pity - it’s mainly the things that need to change that are staying the same.


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