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Meeting NHS Management Challenges

Posts made in August, 2014

The Limits of Consultation: Steady Ahead

By on Aug 27, 2014 in EquiPOISE - Blog | 0 comments

The NHS recently published its Five Year Forward View– catchily ‘5YFV’.   Wags of course noted that ‘chance would be a fine thing”.  Two governments, five health secretaries and ten transformative plans hence, the finest cut-glass crystal ball will have fragmented in despair. Five years?  Anyone’s guess. The report did, though, contain some refreshing thinking.  With no sense of irony, it notes that: “the NHS and social care system is not short of reports or evidence”.  And it adds: “we will not run yet another lengthy and costly engagement exercise, asking people what they want from health and health care”.  Amen. In the simple language championed by this blog, there is a time for talking and a time for doing.  Or more precisely, a time for thinking and a time for acting.  Consultation is a fine principle.  And it offers a wonderful device for delay and deferral.  But it has its limits. We may not have chosen this vehicle, this road or this destination.  Yet we are where we are.  So, please, let there be no more re-drawing of our maps, no more hesitancy about our choices and no more roadside tinkering. Let’s do it. And let us be left alone to do...

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I’m Lingua-nauseous Doctor! The Problem with Words

By on Aug 27, 2014 in EquiPOISE - Blog | 1 comment

I’m Lingua-nauseous Doctor! The Problem with Words With words we build meaning.  We express emotion.  We clarify logic and much more. In turn, grammatical forms are the mortar with which we construct the syntax to form our overall intention.  By orchestrating syntax carefully, we hone precision. So the very act of careful writing insists upon exactitude.  According to Jeff Bezos, ceo of Amazon, “there is no way to write a six-page narratively structured memo and not have clear thinking”.  Bezos further demands that his senior executive team spend 30 minutes in silence before an executive meeting to absorb each memo carefully. But most of us live in a fog of words.  It is easy to drift amid more words rather than fewer.  We experience daily a veritable ‘pea-souper’ of conflicting, confusing and often opaque jargon.   In the world of health, the many mansions of clinical science must co-exist with the onward march of professional managerialism and political correctness. Easier by far to write: “as a strategic imperative, our next-phase organisational development will require the seamless integration of neuropsychology and neurology departments to better serve emerging patient needs and re-define the most appropriate pathway…” Our word-processor writes this stuff on auto-pilot.  Local kremlinologists will decipher it. Than? Than simply: “we will save money and increase efficiency by merging the two departments”. Hard, yes.  But think about the waves of wasted words and wasted time.  Think about clarity.  Think about motivation. A cure for our collective lingua-nausea,...

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