Not holding my breath…

Training Primary Care - NHS - GPs - Not holding my breath...

This morning the cellars will be searched by the Lord Great Chamberlain and the Yeoman… who will be paid for their trouble with a small glass of port-wine.

Whilst the peers assemble in their House, dressed in their robes, the Commons will assemble and begin their day with Prayers.

They will process, lead by the Speaker, the highest ranking commoner in the Realm, to the bar of the House of Lords.

In the meantime, before the Monarch departs from Buckingham Palace, in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach, a ‘hostage’ MP will be detained, during the State Opening of Parliament, and be released when the Monarch is safely back.

This State Opening will be different. The government has no majority and the list of proposed Bills, to be read out by the Queen, will be little more than the Tory Party Election Manifesto.

Included in the Bills, will be legislation to unpick the worst excesses of the Lansley Lunacy. It won’t happen anytime soon but the marker is down.

So, today it’s Memory Monday!

On 21st March 2012, I wrote this…

How do you feel? Angry, upset, worried? Barring a constitutional disaster the Health and Social Care Bill will become law by Easter.

You might be delighted, inspired and raring to go.

On the plus-side there are bits of the Bill that have been attenuated and on the minus side, the fact that this huge game changing Bill doesn’t have the words ‘NHS’ in the title probably says it all.

One thing is for sure; the NHS will carry on looking after a million people a day. Fuelled by a sense of duty and vocation, NHS staff will make the cobbled-together future work.

It’s been a bruising time. ‘Where were you when the NHS was de-nationalised?‘ What do you remember?

LaLa being chased around hospital corridors, hiding from a doctor is one of the more enduring images.

Chris Ham, at the King’s Fund, criticising opponents of the Bill as ‘grandstanding’ one of the more cross making.

Two doctors running back-to-back marathons one of the more inspiring.

The failure of Southern Cross and the scramble to prop up their services one of the more worrying indicators of what might come, without a proper failure regime.

Travelling the length and breadth of the country trying to persuade audiences that yes, they really are slashing PCTs and SHAs and replacing them with the National Commissioning Board and 50 out-posts, 30 CSS’s, 200+ CCGs, HealthWatch and 15 Clinical Senates… in the name of cutting bureaucracy.

Talking to a group of experienced managers who were trying to decide between setting up a social enterprise or taking a redundancy package. Watching them decide to leave was a particularly low moment for me.

Seeing the passage of the Bill through both Houses of Parliament made me feel proud that we could watch the machinations, live on the computer screen and be pleased we live in a democracy… even if we can’t influence it.

Listening to the ill informed debates; the MPs who are parrots and the Lords who are dummies… don’t the read their briefs, talk to staff or even try to understand the impact of policy and its risks.

Perhaps the shock I felt that serious organisations like the BMA, RCN, RCGP and the huge list of others who opposed the Bill but wouldn’t act in a coordinated, grown-up way. Together they could have brought the Bill to its knees.

It was the big risk the DH spent time on its knees, praying they wouldn’t do. Their prayers were answered.

So, what’s next? I suspect a heap of trouble.


… and I was right. Most of us were right and now we have to go through the costs and time-waste of getting us back to something like a system that works. LBL… life before Lansley.

What an excruciating waste of public money and time the 2012 Act has been. The job losses, the careers demolished… oh, what an embarrassment and a colossal and criminal diversion and misuse of the goodwill that fires up the NHS…

... brought about by the hubris of one man, the weakness of a Prime Minister and the gutless leaders who wouldn’t work together.

I hope Andrew Lansley is in the Lords to hear his work is to be demolished. I hope he is contrite, ashamed, embarrassed and remorseful…

… but I’m not holding my breath.

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Know something I don’t – email me in confidence.

Reproduced at by kind permission of Roy Lilley.