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 »

Something is stirring in the Labour Party…

Filed Under (Andy Burnham, Ed Miliband, Health Policy, Shadow Secretary of State) by Paul on 04-03-2014

…on NHS and social care policy.

Today sees the launch of a report by John Oldham’s Independent Commission for the Labour Party into health and social care policy, and to declare an interest up front, John is a close friend of mine.

Those that know him will recognise that his report “One Person, One Team, One System” is very much his own (and his colleagues on the commission). By which I mean that it is not owned by the Labour Party and some of it will make difficult reading for the Shadow Secretary of State.

That is why it’s interesting that today’s report will be publicly received with a speech by the leader of the opposition Ed Milliband. One of the reasons that he is playing such a big role in receiving the report is because it does not support the line taken by some of his Shadow Secretary of State’s speeches. It therefore provides the Leader of the Opposition with an opportunity to drop some of the things his Shadow Secretary of state has said he wanted to do.

Again, those that know John Oldham will not be surprised that his report is based upon a radical critique of the current delivery of health and social care for NHS patients and social care service users.

The press release begins:

In 2014 the NHS and social care work very hard to deliver a model of care that was created for a different population with different diseases. It mainly provides a wide range of good episodes of care aimed at improving the health of parts of the body but this does not meet the needs of our current ageing population. At the moment 70% of the health and social care budget is spent on older people with long term conditions and much of considerable resource is not well spent.  The crisis for the NHS and social care is that in order to meet the needs of our new ageing population needs to radically change its model of care. It finds it very hard to do this”

In truth none of this is news to any of the leadership in the NHS. But the case for change in John’s report goes a few steps further because it is most strongly voiced by the people themselves. People receiving fragmented care need a radical new approach over the next parliament to rework the health and social care system to meet these new needs.

And one of the things that is most needed to bring about this radical change is for the next Labour Secretary of State NOT to launch a reorganisation of the health service.

We do not need a new Health and Social Care Reform Act.

We do not need to change the local commissioning structure for NHS care by giving it to local government.

We do not need a new reorganisation of NHS structures.

As the press release for the report continues:-

“It is vital that the next Government leads this change and does so without a complete reorganisation of the structures of NHS and social care. The recent reorganisation has left the NHS and social care demoralised and not able to understand the system within which it is meant to be working. A further reorganisation in 2015/2017 would place the whole system in very great peril.   

The next Government must dedicate itself to improving health and social care outcomes for patients and service users defined by them. Government leadership is needed to change how the organisations that provide care actually behave with people It should not spend time passing legislation to change structures.”

How the Labour leader and his Secretary of State for Health respond to this challenge will be an important part of the politics of health over the next few years.

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