“Doing the wrong thing more slowly is not the answer.”
(John Healey, Labour Party politician, former shadow health secretary, 2011)
Radical changes lie ahead for the NHS and decisions are to be made. Conservative Health Secretary Andrew Lansley acknowledged that there are a few things more worthy of discussion. Earlier this year the UK government announced a “listening exercise” with a view to “listen, reflect and improve”. But was this really about policy making or was it just another political chess move?
“Organizational reforms require comprehensive change along different dimensions of the system. Successful reform of complex systems depends on Consistency and coherence relate partly to whether the different components of the proposed reforms have been adequately specified, and partly to the relationship of these components to each other as part of the reform package. Even if these issues are addressed at the design stage and aligned appropriately, implementation deficits may crop up. These may arise because policy-makers depart from their plans during the implementation or because the context is hostile. Actors may also try to delay or divert implementation because their interests are adversely affected.”(Mark, L. Annabelle et. al, Innovations in Health Care – A reality check, 2006)
During my study trip in Manchester I had the exceptional opportunity to gain insight into the NHS and the approaching changes in the UK health care system. Our visitations to several health care-related institutions, like the “Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust”, the “National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence” (NICE), the “Together Trust” or “The King´s Fund” in London gave us a comprehensive and systematic overview of how the health and care sector works in the UK.
Appropriately enough, one of my fellow students acquired free insight because she had an involuntary hospitalisation. The fact that she came back in sound condition, makes me confident, that the NHS works well.
What more need be said?
I think the British are aware of the advantages the NHS provided them with over the last 60 years. Bearing the comparison between the NHS and religion in mind, we can say without thinking twice, that they know, which denomination they belong to. The health care reforms have provoked a lot of controversy and that – in fact – is a good thing.
“It takes a long time to achieve fundamental health sector changes. The degree to which a health system can change a health determinant is related to the time frame of the analysis. Many health sector reforms and institutional changes may take several years to have their full effect and thus require a longer-term perspective for assessment.”(Mark, L. Annabelle et. al, Innovations in Health Care – A reality check, 2006)
I for one will keep an eye on the NHS.