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 is a social pioneer, writer and campaigner. She studied visual science at City University and became a member of the College of Optometrists in 1991, later specialising in visual impairment and diabetes. During her career in optometry, she lectured at City University, was a visiting clinician at the Royal Free Hospital and worked with Primary Care Trusts. She ran a domiciliary practice across south London and was a Director of the UK Institute of Optometry. Julia formed 20/20Health in 2006. Becoming an expert in digital health solutions, she led on the NHS–USA Veterans’ Health Digital Health Exchange Programme and was co-founder of the Health Tech and You Awards with Axa PPP and the Design Museum. Her research interests are now in harnessing digital to improve personal health, and she is a PhD candidate in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) at UCL. She is also dedicated to creating a sustainable Whole School Wellbeing Community model for schools that builds relationships, discovers assets and develops life skills. She is a member of the Royal Society of Medicine’s Digital Health Council. 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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