One of the constant conversations that the current Secretary of State had with the leadership of doctors’ organisations over the six years of his apprenticeship as shadow secretary of state concerned how much they hated waiting times targets.
From 2001 onwards they had railed ineffectually against a Government that won the 2001 and 2005 elections partially on the promise to reduce maximum waiting times for NHS patients. The capability and capacity of the NHS to reduce maximum waiting times was one of the core public reform narratives that brought about change in the NHS over that period. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed Under (Health Policy, Kings Fund) by Paul on 20-07-2011
One of the consequences of the loss of public trust as a result of the Government’s NHS policy is that alternative sources of public information to the ‘official statistics’ will become more and more important.
I remember a period of time, about 2003-5, when NHS maximum waiting times were dramatically improving. However the public lost belief in the picture that was being painted by the monthly DH statistics. They felt that despite the fact that the official statistics were making the case that waiting times were improving quickly, they couldn’t explain why individually they had to wait so very long for their operations. (The reason being that at the time the government was reducing maximum waiting times for operations from 2 years to 6 months – and could feel very pleased with itself. While this IS a big improvement it is difficult to weigh the experience of what feels like a very long wait, against the headline which says waiting times are improving if you have to wait 6 months for an operation.) Read the rest of this entry »
Filed Under (Competition, Kings Fund, Patient Choice) by Paul on 03-06-2011
One of the more interesting aspects of the period that the Government has taken to have a bit of a think about its reforms has been the way in which organisations that have had a long term solution to the problems faced by the NHS have used this space to suggest that their solution can solve its problems. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed Under (Competition, Kings Fund) by Paul on 05-05-2011
May 4th saw a really interesting breakfast seminar at the Kings Fund on choice and competition in the NHS. There were three very interesting presentations and then reactions from the floor. The whole experience demonstrated what deep trouble the Government is in with its reform programme. It’s only been a year and they have completely lost the initiative (and the plot). Read the rest of this entry »