Everything Changes Yet Everything Stays The Same

What was the famous Petronius quote? “We trained hard, but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams we would be reorganised. … I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganising; and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency and demoralisation.“ 

I speak to wonderful clinicians every day who are trying to make a difference and not appreciated by their organisations who focus on management through meetings and committee and rules that stifle innovation. The NHS has the power to be very great in deed if only top management would focus on doing the right things rather that the wrong things righter. 

We need to develop managers as servant leaders who go onto the clinical floor and ask ‘how can I help you remove the barriers to delivering excellent patient care and experience’. Managers who help give headroom, constructive challenge to the status quo, help manage relationships and release potential for innovation. Step change improvements can be made rapidly and save real cash. I helped a male surgical admissions unit redesign their processes in 2 days – real time on the clinic floor which meant theatres could start on time – every day, patients weren’t cancelled and vast waste of health £ saved. It isn’t complicated to do, just hard changing the mind sets to view the NHS world differently. The is huge scope for improvement and we must help make it happen.

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