My mission statement

The times we are working in now need a great deal of accelerated change and there must be no negotiating that down. So my mission statement for this part of my consultancy career is to be clear that there needs to be and will be a lot of change from the work that I do with individuals and organisations and if organisations don’t want that, then it is probably best to go somewhere else.

Read my statement in full »

The long march through the Royal Colleges.

Filed Under (Big Society, Health Policy) by Paul on 12-04-2012

In the last few months, during the political tussle that took place before the final passage of what is now the Health and Social Care Act, some very strange claims were made about the power of various Royal Colleges to reverse government policy.

There was a strong belief amongst medical opponents of the Bill that if all the Royal Colleges called for its withdrawal this would have stopped the Bill. I commented at the time that this was an odd view of political power, but was understandable coming from people who were rarely involved in the politics of legislation. Read the rest of this entry »

Political straws in the wind and the NHS

Filed Under (Big Society, Coalition Government, Reform of the NHS) by Paul on 12-01-2011

Thinking back to when I was a political special adviser in the Department of Health (2001-2005) there were several times when I and my colleagues was surprised by sudden surges of political interest in NHS stories. Some of that interest seemed to come from the media itself but also, underneath and around that, there were powerful emotions that the public had about the NHS which suddenly seemed to surge forward unexpectedly from outside of the media themselves. Read the rest of this entry »

The Big Society and the Political Left.

Filed Under (Big Society, Culture of the NHS, Trades Unions) by Paul on 08-11-2010

The coalition government want to paint their picture of the Big Society as an idea which is an attack upon the left wing of politics. They would like to pretend that ‘civil society’ is their idea and ‘the state’ is the left’s and that that is the way in which they define political difference between the left and the right. In the current social and political context if the left were to fall for that political bifurcation they would be out of electoral power for several generations. Read the rest of this entry »

The NHS and the Big Society – 1

Filed Under (Big Society, Public service reform) by Paul on 26-10-2010

I have been to a couple of meetings about the Big Society and have generally left none the wiser. But a recent breakfast meeting at the Kings Fund was good…

The three speakers at this all had something interesting, important and above all concrete to say about how the NHS might relate to the Big Society. And each of them in very different ways had a big sweep of history in their view. Read the rest of this entry »