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 »

Reflections on the Nuffield Summit

Filed Under (Economics, Narrative of reform, Reform of the NHS) by Paul on 13-03-2013

The first day of last week’s Nuffield Health summit concentrated on the linked issues of quality and finance. We are going to have to improve the former whilst having less of the latter. I will return to this issue.

Throughout my time at the Summit I couldn’t shake off the nagging idea that, here we are in the spring of 2013 – and right now would have been a great time to launch a Government NHS reform programme. Read the rest of this entry »

Throwing away an important announcement – some communication problems for the Secretary of State for Health

Filed Under (Narrative of reform, Secretary of State) by Paul on 03-12-2012

I, along with many commentators, felt that Jeremy Hunt had been made Secretary of State for Health because he was good at developing a strategic and tactical approach to communicating the Government’s message.

His predecessor failed as a reforming Secretary of State because he could not communicate to either the public or the NHS what problem his reforms were meant to solve. He was also silent on the subject of how they were going to solve it. Read the rest of this entry »

Two years too late the Government is starting to develop a narrative to explain its NHS reforms – and having it may be even more troublesome.

Filed Under (Clinical Commissioning Groups, Narrative of reform) by Paul on 05-11-2012

I don’t generally blow my own trumpet but if you look at my post of September 14 2010 I think it contained the first comment anywhere pointing out that the Government did not have a narrative to explain why its NHS reforms were necessary. Since the Government did not have a reason for its reforms how could it explain how they would deal with what was wrong? Over the following 20 months it was open season on their inability to communicate either what was wrong, or how their reforms were going to put it right. Read the rest of this entry »

More thoughts about the possible development of different party political narratives about NHS reform

Filed Under (Narrative of reform, Reform of the NHS, Secretary of State) by Paul on 17-09-2012

Last week I posted about the different way in which party political narratives about NHS reforms may develop. I expect a very different kind of debate now that the Government may have the ability to communicate some form of message about what it is trying to achieve. Read the rest of this entry »

The politics of Nationalisation, the NHS and the General Election of 2015

Filed Under (Narrative of reform, Reform of the NHS, Secretary of State) by Paul on 12-09-2012

Since Monday’s post appeared a number of people have asked me to clarify what I meant by the Government failing to make critics pay for constructing even the oddest arguments against their reforms.  What am I suggesting? What should Governments, or any other major institution  do when they are involved in an argument with opponents? Read the rest of this entry »

The new Secretary of State must develop a narrative to argue for the Coalition Government’s NHS reform. What might this look like? (1)

Filed Under (Narrative of reform, Secretary of State) by Paul on 10-09-2012

Many commentators have argued that the task of the new Secretary of State is a near impossible one (“his in-tray … a pyramid of hand grenades with loose pins” as Polly Toynbee put it in the Guardian on Thursday). They have argued that the fact he has been given his new job because he is a good communicator means he is bound to fail because the story he has to tell will inevitably be one of failure.

I don’t think that is necessarily true. I do think that it’s a very difficult story to develop and to tell, but being new he has a number of strong points. Read the rest of this entry »

Andrew Lansley: An epitaph

Filed Under (Health Policy, Narrative of reform, Reform of the NHS, Secretary of State) by Paul on 06-09-2012

He demonstrated every day how important it was for a Secretary of State to not only have a narrative about why there needed to be change in the National Health Service but also to have the ability to communicate that narrative to the public and the NHS.

Read the rest of this entry »

“Never Again” a pamphlet by Nick Timmins – published by the Kings Fund and the Institute for Government

Filed Under (Health Policy, Narrative of reform, Reform of the NHS, Secretary of State) by Paul on 12-07-2012

Once you’ve read today’s post download the pamphlet that is published today by Nick Timmins “Never Again – the Story of the Health and Social Care Act.” I know we worry about the future of the planet, but I suspect you will want to sit and read this a couple of times, so my tip is to print off all 140 pages. Read the rest of this entry »

Just as the government seeks good news about public opinion of the NHS comes bad news. How did this happen?

Filed Under (Health Policy, Narrative of reform, Secretary of State) by Paul on 18-06-2012

There were several interesting elements in last week’s results in the British Social Attitudes Survey about what the public think of the NHS. Read the rest of this entry »

How the Government is getting the politics of the NHS wrong again (Number 64)

Filed Under (Narrative of reform, Reform of the NHS) by Paul on 01-05-2012

The story so far…

Back in 2005 its new leader, one David Cameron, recognises that he has to detoxify the brand of the Conservative Party. To do so he decides amongst all aspects of government expenditure to pledge that, if elected, the NHS budget will rise under his Government.

Times may be tough, but the NHS budget will be protected. Read the rest of this entry »