My mission statement

The times we are working in now need a great deal of accelerated change and there must be no negotiating that down. So my mission statement for this part of my consultancy career is to be clear that there needs to be and will be a lot of change from the work that I do with individuals and organisations and if organisations don’t want that, then it is probably best to go somewhere else.

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May 20th launch of Smith Institute on Health Futures

Filed Under (Health Improvement, Health Policy) by Paul on 22-05-2009

I was part of the panel that helped to launch this monograph.  With a year to go before an election, there are a whole host of policy pamphlets coming out, but there are two things that make this one different. First  it was sponsored by Asthma UK. Given that three quarters of the NHS spend takes place on long term conditions it is important that a least one glimpse of the future is based around change and long term conditions. Most general discussions about what will happen next in the NHS nod towards the importance of long term conditions, but then continue to talk about acute care as the core of their future. So starting and finishing a view of the future around Long Term Conditions is key.
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Hong Kong – the Conference May 5th

Filed Under (China, Health Policy, Public Health, Speaking) by Paul on 15-05-2009

So far the two posts I have made about my trip to Hong Kong concerned the way in which they were dealing with the swine flu outbreak that coincided with my visit.

The Conference I went to speak to – a Hong Kong hospital authority conference – was cancelled on the Friday evening I arrived. However, on Sunday, with several speakers having arrived, the Authority decided to hold a session where we would share with an audience from the Authority, the papers that we had prepared.
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Co-ordination and taking responsibility in child protection

Filed Under (Health Policy) by Paul on 13-05-2009

An interesting article by Camilla Cavendish in the Times prompts the following thoughts…

The death of Baby P has quite rightly led to all the government agencies involved looking closely at the way in which they work. Common sense says that this case like so many others raises awful questions about the failure of several agencies to work together. As with Victoria Climbie, the problem seems to be too many professionals in health and local government just not talking to each other. So each one fails to spot the pattern.
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Culture eats strategy for breakfast and the Culture of the NHS

Filed Under (Culture of the NHS) by Paul on 13-05-2009

Looking back on it, it was an easy decision to decide to write about the topic of culture in my Health Service Journal regular end piece. It was the topic that everyone involved in change wanted to talk with me about and it was the topic that those who resisted change never had to mention. Almost by definition, if you are in a culture you don’t notice it but if you straddle the inside and outside of a culture, then you notice it every day, all the time.
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Lunchtime talk to management staff at University College Hospital London (UCLH)

Filed Under (Culture of the NHS, Reform of the NHS) by Paul on 12-05-2009

Once every couple of months the management staff of UCLH ask an external speaker to talk and lead a discussion. In April I gave a presentation on the lessons that Darwin can provide to the management of large institutions at times such as now, when the environment turns a bit difficult.

Darwin’s lesson to all species is that however big you are, the environment could change so rapidly that unless you are very adaptable to big or little change in it, you might find yourself extinct. The fittest, who survive in Darwin’s terms, are those that learn to act upon those changes the quickest- those that become the most adaptable to environmental change.
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Hong Kong, May day weekend – Sunday

Filed Under (China, Health Policy, Mexican 'flu, Public Health, SARS) by Paul on 04-05-2009

I have been watching how a very different society deals with a public health scare.

The health of the public is a very different activity from running a health care system. Many health care systems including the NHS and the system in Hong Kong is primarily organised by the state. We develop policies, set up the architecture of the system create and maintain institutions and try and implement a state run system. That’s the way in which health care is usually organised and thought through.
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Hong Kong, May day weekend – Saturday

Filed Under (China, Health Policy, Mexican 'flu, Public Health, SARS, Speaking) by Paul on 02-05-2009

Every year – well nearly every year- Hong Kong Hospital Authority has a really good Conference about the developments in health and health care. Two years ago I was asked to give the keynote opening address on the progress in health care reform in the English NHS. I have a 5 year relationship with Hong Kong that amongst other things has given me an honorary relationship as the Adjunct Professor of Public Health at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. So two years ago I was both pleased and excited to start this conference off.
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