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.

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The Politics of Pause – the new contagion afflicting the NHS?

Filed Under (Economic Regulator, Health Policy, Reform of the NHS, Regulation) by Paul on 12-07-2011

Since the April pause ended in June with the launch of the reformed reforms, the Government has been trying to give the impression that it is now moving full steam ahead with its reform programme. But once the leadership of a change programme turns delay into an art form, it becomes inevitable that such an approach will impact upon the whole system.

So back in July 2010 it was clear that Monitor was going to play a major role as economic regulator by acting as a referee for a new rules based system. What an interesting organisation. What a vital part of the new world order!

Then the Government starts to have a think about whether it really means this or not and concludes that it probably doesn’t.

Monitor has an existing vital role. It is overseeing more than half of the NHS acute trust and an even greater percentage of the mental health trusts in a time when they are under greater financial pressure than ever before. It has the task of seeing a large number of trusts over the threshold of FT status in the next year or so.

And in the future it has a major new role.

So it’s probably a really good idea to ensure that it has a Chief Executive to see itself through both its existing and new roles.

It took the bold – un “pause like” – step of advertising for a CEO before the Government was clear about its policy on what Monitor’s role is. (But then, to be honest, you would have to wait a long time……)

Then, half-way through the process, the Government changes its mind about what it wants Monitor to do (and may well change it again before the Bill is through).

So the announcement yesterday that the Monitor board had decided not to appoint anyone to the role of the CEO is, given the tumult around that role, hardly surprising.

As the Monitor press release says,

“Although there were some strong candidates the Board felt that none had quite the right mix of skills and experience for the role as currently set out.”

The role “as currently set out” is somewhat different from that set out a year – or even 3 months – ago.

This is how pause becomes a way of life, rather than a means of moving the health system forward.

 

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