Strategy reviews take up precious time and cost a fortune – are they really necessary? Why not focus on more practical ways to help people, such as the newly launched Help and Information Service
Is it just me, or does anyone else tire of reading about money being spent on ‘reviews’ rather than on the parts of the health service which are in desperate need? The Health Foundation (formed with a £540 million endowment from the sale of the PPP Healthcare Group) – is a hugely wealthy charity, which is about to undertake (on behalf of the NHS) another of its strategy reviews, this time “into indicators on the quality of care offered by GP practices in England. The review will analyse the already extensive work done in this area, assess whether a meaningful set of indicators has been developed and identify the way forward to cover any gaps. The review will also look at whether such indicators would help patients and carers gauge the quality of care their GP practice provides.”
Clearly, there have been vital public inquiries – such as that headed by Robert Francis QC into the scandal at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust – but I cannot help feeling that when it comes to judging a GP practice, patients and staff can, surely, give their opinion without waiting for newly-discovered ‘indicators’? Just ask them.
The Foundation’s latest report, called ‘Shaping the Future: A strategic framework for a successful NHS’, provides ‘a strategic framework for thinking’. The five ‘interlinked layers’ cover active cost management; improvement for quality and efficiency; new ways of delivering care and support; scientific discovery, technology and skills; population health. Was a whole expensive report really necessary to highlight those five? Should not the NHS stop ‘thinking’ and start ‘doing’?
I thought W1A was a work of fiction – but now I am not so sure.
The new Health and Information Service
On a happier – and much more practical note – four companies (strictly regulated and industry compliant) and all leading experts in their field, have come together to create The Help and Information Service. This is an unlimited, free 24/7 telephone service, aimed specifically at people whose work, health or geographical location make initial face-to-face appointments well-nigh impossible – people like shift workers; those who are housebound or in care and cannot travel to a bank, insurance company or a lawyer; carers, district nurses or health visitors for whom there is no time during the day to find a quiet place to spread out paperwork.
The telephone number is 0345 051 3925 and it will give access to experts in law from The Parabis Group, mortgages from London and Country, insurance from Adrian Flux and healthcare treatments from Argent. Another partner will join in July to offer financial advice.