So, we have a new Prime Minister, but more than that we have a completely refurbished executive. This means that the Halloween JCBs will be out in the middle of the Dover Straights digging a semi-permanent deep ditch that will separate the UK from Europe (I assume they will use the company that dug up a road near where I live – it is deep, impenetrable and definitely becoming semi-permanent). However, some things haven’t changed, most notably Matt Hancock has retained his role as Health Secretary; also Liz Truss remains as International Trade Secretary (presumably for her services to pork?). In a time of change, some stability can be a metaphorical lifeline – but healthcare is a real lifeline for us all.
So, what does this mean to every member of the community?
It means that the programmes and policies introduced when Mrs May was Prime Minister are going to continue. New bodies like NHS-X and LHCREs are here to stay, at least for a while longer and might get the opportunity to achieve their mission. It is vital that the United Kingdom has integrated health records, preferably just one – so that we can all feel safe when traveling around the country. Hopefully we can add to this the fragmented, orphaned records that may just contain the piece of (currently lost) information that might be the key to accurate diagnosis.
Continuity enables suppliers to plan and execute development that will benefit patients; it will help new, innovative players to invest in the market, and it will maintain existing and establish new, vital relationships between the NHS and innovative suppliers. Uncertainty is the enemy of investment, whether it is called Brexit or just personnel changes (a minister is, after all a person) and Europe is an uncertain place these days – at least until Firework Night. Indeed, necessity is the mother of invention, but that works well where there is a common threat, but recently we have had stagnation and lethargy from our Lords and Masters and that suppresses innovation.
I listened to Prime Minister Johnson’s speech yesterday afternoon and I didn’t read stagnation or lethargy in it, so let’s hope he can do what he offered and put some direction back into the leadership of the country. For everyone’s sake, I wish him well and hope the naysayers are wrong.
Mike Morris, 25th July 2019
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