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 Financial Times’ opinion of what is going wrong with the Government NHS reforms

Filed Under (Conservative party, Health Policy, Reform of the NHS) by Paul on 19-03-2011

Friday saw the clearest media analysis I have found of what is right and what is wrong with the Government’s NHS reforms.

The FT doesn’t allow me to simply copy any of their articles so I must respect that, but if you can find a copy of it, or are registered with the FT, it’s really well worth a read.

They make the point that the FT supports the substance of the Government reforms – choice, competition and diversity, but they also point out that Ministers are failing to make a convincing case for the radical changes they are putting forward.

Then the crucial sentence that they are “right to hold to their course, but by mishandling the politics they are jeopardising the policy.”

Readers of this blog will not be surprised that I see this as a crucial insight. And all the more important since it comes from the FT. If you are a Government, bad politics trumps good policy. Politics is the business of Government – mobilising allies and creating an argument is essential to running a democratic country.

Simply sitting in a corner and ‘being right’ is not good politics.

For those of us who believe in NHS reform, the dismal failure of this Government to construct a politics which supports reform is very frustrating.

The FT goes on to explain why it has such a problem “if the Government is to succeed in improving its hospitals it is going to have to improve its communications”

They also quite rightly feel that “the speed of the reforms is over ambitious” and in so doing correct the Prime Minister’s yearning for speed outlined in his speeches in January.

In Nick Timmins the FT has the best health journalist in the country. When I worked for Government I was advised by everyone to take him very seriously.

The Government needs to do the same.

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