Listening to the news and the build up to the review carried out by Don Berwick I guess I expected there to be am lot more substance to the report.
The overall sentiment of patients being the central focus is spot on. Yet as anyone who has ever worked in the NHS knows, it is never that simple.
People face continual pressure day in and day out 365 days of the year. There are extensive targets to be met. People are being asked to deliver more or at least the same with real term reduction in resources. I am sure everyone knows of at least one if not several senior people who were moved on or out of jobs because of missing targets or of the financial position of the organisation.
Recommendations are a useful starting point. At the same time I think it is important that a culture is created where:
- People are not made scapegoats if targets are missed in order to maintain quality of services
- There is constructive rather than destructive dialogue when things don’t go to plan
As well as this it is surely time to have an open and honest debate and look at the difficult questions about making sure the NHS can continue to thrive in the future.
If patients are the central focus then everything needs to be explored from access to services through to patient experiences. That will require change from everyone. The question for me is whether leaders are up for the challenge.
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