The Limits of Consultation: Steady Ahead
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 it!