It needs to be said…


I’m old enough to think of everyone in terms of daughter, grandson, kids.

Don’t laugh. You’re getting older, too! It probably feels like it won’t happen to you but it will. You’ll realise you’ve been an idiot, wasted time, said and done the wrong things.

You’ll change, your views change and so will your priorities.

People you love and enjoyed, will die. Almost none of the people I’ve served with on councils, committees, businesses, charities and boards, are still around.

I look in the mirror and don’t recognise what I’ve got… most of it looks like it needs ironing.

I’m a romantic, I once used my Inter-Flora Gold-Card to send red roses. Now, I send wreaths.

I know, I’m on the downhill run but that means I no longer have to live the life other people expect me to live. I can say it as I see it… and I’m going to.

The way I see it and what I want to say is;

‘It’s about time, too. I can imagine how difficult it has been, well done and get on with it.’

It has emerged that NHSE+I are about to do what they want the rest of the NHS to do; save money, time, grow-up and get streamlined… they are set for a full-blown merger.


Simon Stevens will run the show and the other bloke goes back to showing us how easy it is to run a Trust, or sorting out why my BT wifi is so slow.

What’s the new outfit to called? Dunno, NHS-R-Us might be good.

How will it work? With difficulty, carefully and they will make a lot of it up as they go along.

None of that is important. The important thing is the mindset. A determination, for the final time, to scrape Lansley off our boots.

We all know the NHS is dysfunctional.

• The NHS is no safer for the millions spent on the CQC.

• No more in financial-balance, for the presence of NHSI,

• No better commissioned because we have NHSE.

• No better staffed because of HEE

• None of us thinner because of PHE

• No more interoperable for the work of NHSD.

• No less waiting, because we have targets.

For my money, the whole rag-bag could be on their way to the midden.

To the people who have lost their jobs by falling foul of them, or been shunted around, I apologise. I wish I’d done more.

To the people who’ve delighted in inspecting, pressurising, fault-finding and nit picking, I say, you have little more than misery to be proud of.

To those who’ve been quietly brave enough to dismantle it, I say, heroic.

I say, make this the first move in the Jenga of collapsing the whole shebang.

We have the chance of a fresh start and the opportunity to work together.

Understanding success is interconnected, interfaces cost money and variation threatens lives.

The merge won’t change everything overnight but it is a recognition that the mess dumped on us by the politicians who ignored the experts, is heading back to some common-sense.

The NHS will breath a sigh of collective relieve, take a deep breath, roll up its sleeves and clean out the Augean stables.

Yes, the labour of Hercules but the NHS does that sort of thing and yes, it will take longer than a day.

I judge everyone in the NHS will raise a cheer. This is a good day and recently good days have been hard to find. This is a day for optimism, hope and confidence.

I’ve lived long enough to see the death of madness, politics fail us and delighted I’ll see people with integrity, foresight and courage, have a chance to put it right.

I can say it. You probably can’t… so, if you like, I’ll say it for you….

… it needs to be said.

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Reproduced at by kind permission of Roy Lilley.