Monday, 30 June 2008

Lord Darzi's review - a good effort, but why aren't we doing this already?

I just wanted to say, I haven't totally given up on this blog, I've just been a bit distracted - by really interesting things. These come after my thoughts on the Darzi review, and include a slightly (er, very?) cynical rant about NHS Connecting for Health. For those of you who have come here because you're are interested in the Darzi review (and not my life story which I'm assuming you couldn't give two hoots about) I've left the personal bits till the end, so you don't have to read them if you don't want to (I'm nice like that :-) But the fact that Patient Opinion is up for 2 awards is reason enough to read the entire post...

As the Darzi review on High Quality Care for All has just been published, I felt I should put my two penneth in.

It's all very well saying we're going to empower the staff and patients to develop a high quality NHS, but to actually do that requires a long, hard look at what is preventing the NHS from doing that already - namely huge bureaucracy, historical and systemic scapegoatism (is that a word? it is now), conflicting targets, political maneouvering and an awful lot of conjecture and rhetoric and (contentious I know) an attitude that the medical profession knows all, despite the fact that some patients are actually experts on their own conditions (god forbid we actually have patients who are intelligent enough to understand medical theory!!!).

I read Darzi's review (very quickly, obviously) and I was, well, suprised! Seemingly ridden with conjecture, in that in every section the introduction makes sweeping references to something each and every politician with anything to do with health would love - the right words are there, but there is actually some weight behind them. The review contains some practical examples and realistic suggestions (in my considered opinion, obviously).

Of course, the majority of the NHS will say every one of those suggestions is unworkable, but that's what happens when people with great ideas are squashed under a ton of processes, policies and long, long conversations about what colour it should be. It just needs some brave, fearless and quite positive people to try and make what appear to be sensible actions a reality.

I thought it was a good effort :-) Make your own mind up, read it here.

Other stuff stopping me having time to blog is that I've
1) begun blogging for and supporting the "webinisation" of the inclusive and innovative website Patient Opinion (they're up for both the New Media and Catalyst awards btw...and yes, they paid me to say that - I'd say it for free, just don't tell them that :-)
2) been taking even more photos and learning to paint on silk (if only there was money in being an artist)
3) been trying to decide what to do for the (immediate) rest of my life.

Generally though, I've had enough of being resolutely hated by everyone in the media, the NHS, and eHealth Insider, due to having the audacity to work NHS Connecting for Health and have decided to discover what really useful stuff I could be doing without the booing when I mention where I work (yes, that really happened....) - I've got until the 1st October. If someone wants to offer me a job, preferably before that date, that would be lovely :-)

Oh, and did I mention, I'm looking for work? :-)


Unknown said...

It is sadly far easier to point fingers at those of us working within the NHS rather than applaud the good work that is being done, but it is perhaps a mark of our times. To be fair who amongst us is brave enough to celebrate the good and applaud those of us who do achieve?
Life in the NHS is full of change, commitment and challenges(!)and yet opportunity, innovation, achievement and satisfaction also play a major part.
For those of us working within IT our profiles have never been so publicly high, but that too can be a positive opportunity - if we but perceive it to be so.
Good Luck Helen in your new ventures!

Helen Nicol said...

Thanks for your support Catherine, but no matter how positive the opportunity, dealing with huge and relentless negativity about specific areas of CFH work that I have no control over, involvement in or detailed knowledge of gets ya down after a few years.

Having tried v hard to please people, but there's just too much "we can't do it because..." going on for me.