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
http://www.2020health.org
83 Victoria Street London SW1H OHW

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About Julia Manning

Julia Manning is a social entrepreneur, writer, campaigner and commentator. She is based in London and is the founder and Chief Executive of 2020health, an independent, social enterprise Think Tank whose aim is to Make Health Personal. Through networking, technology, research, relationships and campaigning 2020health has influenced opinion and action in fields as diverse as bioethics, alcohol, emerging technologies, fraud, education, consumer technology and vaccination. Julia studied visual science at City University and became a member of the College of Optometrists in 1991. Her career has included being a visiting lecturer at City University, a visiting clinician at the Royal Free Hospital, working with south London Primary Care Trusts and as a Director of the UK Institute of Optometry. She specialised in diabetes (University of Warwick Certificate in Diabetic Care) and founded Julia Manning Eyecare in 2004, a home and prison visiting practice for people with mental and physical disabilities using the latest digital technology, which she sold to Healthcall (now part of Specsavers) in 2009. Experiences of working in the NHS, contributing to policy development, raising two children in the inner-city and standing in the General Election in Bristol in 2005 led to Julia forming 2020health at the end of 2006. Julia is a regular guest on TV and radio shows such as BBC News, ITV’s Daybreak/ GMB, Channel 5 News, BBC 1′s The Big Questions, BBC Radio, LBC and has taken part in debates and contributed to BBC’s Newsnight, Panorama, You and Yours and ITV’s The Week. She is mum to a rugby-mad son, a daughter passionate about Shakespeare, and wife of a comprehensive school assistant head-teacher. She loves gardening, ballet, Zimbabwe, her Westies Skye and Angus, is an honorary research associate at UCL and a Fellow of the RSA.
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