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Meeting NHS Management Challenges

Challenge – Age of Anxiety

Source: Val Iles – BNU/London School of Tropical  Medicine (2014)

Source: Val Iles – BNU/London School of Tropical Medicine (2014)

For health and care professionals, throughout the UK and in many other parts of the world, it is an age of anxiety.   Once upon a time it was so much simpler.  Then came a ‘perfect storm’. Four challenges – political change, digital disruption, audit culture and the managerial wave – dominate current discussion.

Just one would ‘rock the boat’.  Dramatically.

But to aggregate all four generates instability and growing entropy.

Stress and uncertainty are everywhere:

  • Political change is perhaps a given.  The Health and Social Care Act 2012, which came into force in April 2013, has unleashed a flood of change.  The crux is to understand, apply and develop its initiatives.
  • Both the drive to economic efficiency and societal change – notably disclosure and transparency – have instigated important new audit principles.  In one way emancipation, this trend also drives a massive wave of compliance and a whole new process culture.
  • In part reflecting the demands of political change and audit culture, the advance of managerialism continues at a daunting pace, creating a vast raft of new organisational, cultural and communications challenges.
  • But perhaps most insidious – if ultimately the greatest opportunity – the digital disruption is changing the very way in which we engage with each other on a daily basis.   To many it must feel as if they are learning a whole new language while seeking to address the most complex subtleties.

Unsurprising then, this age of anxiety.