The NHS is in trouble today due to an utter failure of leadership in response to the challenge of increasing demand, writes Dr John Carlisle.
The Health and Social Care Act was the most extensive reorganisation of the NHS ever. The plan emerged in 2010 when Health Secretary Andrew Lansley began to prepare the new bill, just as the NHS public satisfaction with the NHS was at its highest ever in a polling series that ran back to 1983.
Now, ask yourselves, what fool would interfere with any organisation that had such ‘consumer confidence’? Never has the phrase, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ been more apt, particularly for an organisation that employs over a million staff and whose work is critical, and is respected around the world. But Lansley, ignoring international experts like Dr Don Berwick, pushed his own theory (which is all it was) into practice and created the conditions for Jeremy Hunt and his Oxford chum, Simon Stevens, to run the organisation down.
Needless to say, the act worked out badly for the poor NHS. By 2018 public satisfaction had dropped to its lowest in 11 years as Hunt and Stevens tried to cobble together the ‘new’ NHS. Just how did this happen?