Sunday, 23 January 2011

BMJ calls NHS changes "mad"

Mark Twain said, expressing the view of many when faced with changing their modus operandus:
"I'm all in favour of progress, it's change I don't like"

The British Medical Journal has an entertaining and trenchant editorial analysis on this theme of Andrew Lansley's NHS changes. In short, they think that Lansley and/or his proposals are "mad".

Under the heading:  Dr Lansley’s Monster

and the sub heading:  Too soon to let it out of the lab

the authors ask: 
"What do you call a government that embarks on the biggest upheaval of the NHS in its 63 year history, at breakneck speed, while simultaneously trying to make unprecedented financial savings?"
Their reply is succenct:
"The politically correct answer has got to be: mad."

I have I say: I agree. Having spent much of my working life in managing change, and knowing that a cultural and organisational change of this magnitude is the most difficult challenge for any management, I know that they will fail, and that there will be serious collateral damage along the way. Changes such as this have to properly handled, planned for and managed carefully through the many sensitive stages of communication, organisation and implementation.

The pity is our old Etonian masters, never having had a real job and having practically no experience of how change is resisted and frustrated in all organisations, have embarked on a monumental change to a huge organisation with no planning, no piloting and no preparation. And, crucially, no mandate.

The BMJ is right: it really is mad.

There's much more from the BMJ in the same vein here

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