Letter to DT on Hospitals

Dear Sir
Margaret Thatcher agonised for a decade over how to improve quality and
efficiency in the NHS. Finally, she appointed hospital chairmen who had  succeeded in the outside world, and gave them real freedom to compete with  each other in an “internal market”. Meanwhile local GP practices  excercised customer choice in purchasing hosptial care on behalf of their
patients. Just as this began to produce results, she was gone, and senior
officials lost no time convincing her (Conservative) successors to neuter  her whole reform in favour of the top-down civil service controlled NHS we
see today.

Politicians will huff and puff about improving the methodology of
hospital inspection. They should do better to remember that the success of
any organisation requres first competition, desire to match or better the
performance of ones rivals combined with fear of the consequences of
failure and second, visible and inspiring leadership. The NHS struggles to
serve the public good without the benefit of either.

History provides few examples of organisations whose quality or efficiency
have been improved by bureaucratic exhortation from above.

Yours sincererly

Tom Sackville
Chairman 2020 health
83 Victoria Street London SW1H OHW


About Julia Manning

Julia Manning is a social pioneer, writer, campaigner and commentator. Formerly a clinical optometrist specialising in diabetes and visual impairment, she is the founder and Director of 2020health, an independent, social enterprise Think Tank whose aim is to Make Health Personal and Social. 2020health has through research, events and campaigning influenced opinion and action in fields as diverse as bioethics, alcohol, emerging technologies, fraud, education, consumer technology and vaccination. In 2014, 2020health were founding partners of the Health Tech and You Awards with Axa PPP and the Design Museum. Since 2016, 2020health has increasingly focused on digital health and public health in the community. Julia is a Fellow of the RSA and now also a part-time PhD student at the UCL Interaction Centre, studying the use of digital technology for stress management in the workplace. Julia has shared 2020health's research widely in the media (BBC News, ITV, Channel 5 News, BBC 1′s The Big Questions & Victoria Derbyshire, BBC Radio 4 Today, PM and Woman's Hour, LBC) and has taken part in debates and contributed to BBC’s Newsnight, Panorama, You and Yours and ITV’s The Week.
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