Looks like he’s missed the target. More importantly, he’s missed the point.
No18 has failed on his 100k test target, by the end of April… three things come to mind.
First; 100k tests doesn’t get near the numbers that we should be testing. Not once a month, not once a week, but every day.
Second; the clunky arrangements… the 8am scramble to book a test is more like booking a ticket for Glastonbury, than a serious arrangement to test or prioritise groups of people carrying out vital work, essential work, important work or crucial or necessary work. It’s a bun-fight. Why book? Why not turn-up and be tested?
Third; tests are only for people who think they have symptoms. Think? If they’ve got a car, drag them to a windswept carpark that looks like a gymkhana on a wet bank holiday. Swabs waving in the wind. Or, an army of postmen walking around, potentially spreading goodness knows what, to deliver tests. Or, get the military to pop-up… where?
You know what they say. If it looks like a shambles, it probably is.
On the other hand, there is no ready made capacity in the health and care systems to deliver this kind of service, at this scale.
A lot of people have worked very hard…
Amazon can, E-Bay, probably and the grocery delivery, click-n-pickers can.
CCGs should have been able to organise it, in schools or leisure centres. Anywhere there’s a polling station.
The army of volunteers, still sitting at home, could have been trained to run it.
The gap between available tests and the tested is an entirely self inflicted failure.
It is no secret, we will not find a way out of this mess until we know; who every adult in the UK with CV-19, is. Who has not got CV-19 and who has had it… and exactly, where they are…. and repeat.
If we leave organising the next phase, testing-track-and-tracing, to the genius responsible for this lot, we’ll still be banged-up come next Easter.
My advice; No18. This is only the start. Take the weekend off, take a deep breath, take a blank sheet of paper and take a re-look… start again… testing-tracking-tracing everyone, systematically, the logistics, the planning, the resource… is our only way out.
… and rue the day you set yourself a worthless target. Because, guess what, targets don’t work.
It takes a special kind of person to set themselves a public-policy, mission critical, vital target, voluntarily… and miss it!
The NHS is used to having targets imposed on them. John Major started the nonsense, Tony Blair built on them, the coalition government, with its austerity policies, demolished them.
No18 watched them disappear in a cauldron of sweat and effort, as the NHS tried and tried to keep to them.
Senseless inspections by the CQC, scorned and demonised the managers, unable to reach targets.
Good men and women lost jobs, promotions and careers when they couldn’t hire enough staff, at a time when the world knew there were not enough care workers.
The CQC, became the fountainhead of fear, bullying and everything that is wrong for our NHS.
Do I want No18 to bear a CQC price for his failure to hit a target he set himself? Do I want to remind him that 26,000 people, each wonderful to someone, have died and maybe, they might be alive today, if testing had been organised to be effective, earlier.
Do I want No18 to hang his head in shame, resign, throw in the towel or be replaced?
No, I want him to learn how crushingly demotivating it is when you give everything you’ve got, to achieve something and you fall short.
I want him to know, targets are for fairgrounds and focussed policies are for serious political direction.
I want him to understand that aiming for an outcome, without understanding the inputs, is a page one, chapter one error, in the book of management.
I want him to see, setting a target and expecting everyone else to bust a gut to deliver it, is a page two, chapter one error in how not to achieve, in a service based on teamwork.
I want him to find out that boastfulness is the bedfellow of risk-taking and taking risks, without understanding the heavy lifting that people have to do, how building blocks have to be put in place and how glibness has no place in motivating people.
I want to see if he can be humble.
Have the best weekend you can.
News and Comment from Roy Lilley