Getting beneath the Health Service?

Nearly a week later and triple whammy Wednesday is looking more like a triple whammy wind up than political crisis. In any case a three point attack seems to have dissipated much potential damage. Even Charles Clarke (whose troubles seems the most grounded in political reality) can claim the excuse of having the largest and most unwieldy ministerial brief, with 70,000 employees and £13 billion budget. Meanwhile Patricia Hewitt even has Polly Toynbee in her corner over the need for rigorous reform of the NHS, and who was withering in her judgement that the once dignified RCN, is now easily outshone by Unison in terms of its political savvy.Part of the problem is a failure to get to grips with the real on-the-ground situation, particularly in health – but the same applies in a range of policy areas, not least in education. In Northern Ireland one of the most controversial decisions made in the duration of the NI Executive was the one to close the Tyrone Hospital, in favour of investing in the Erne Hospital. Yet there was little discussion in the public domain as to hows, whys and wherefores of that decision. It was more a case of hit the red button and withdraw (in this case, from government).

One interesting online experiment, which might help get some some kind of grip on at least how the users feel about the health service delivery is Patient Opinion. It’s a kind of ‘rate my teacher’ site which collects feedback and categorises it by area, speciality and perspective. Sadly it doesn’t register Northern Ireland, but this is the kind of result one Dorset hospital gets. It’s clearly early days, but something with this kind of gamesy approach is likely to give users a bottom up handle on what’s happening with their local services.

Donate to keep Slugger lit!

For over 20 years, Slugger has been an independent place for debate and new ideas. We have published over 40,000 posts and over one and a half million comments on the site. Each month we have over 70,000 readers. All this we have accomplished with only volunteers we have never had any paid staff.

Slugger does not receive any funding, and we respect our readers, so we will never run intrusive ads or sponsored posts. Instead, we are reader-supported. Help us keep Slugger independent by becoming a friend of Slugger.

While we run a tight ship and no one gets paid to write, we need money to help us cover our costs.

If you like what we do, we are asking you to consider giving a monthly donation of any amount, or you can give a one-off donation. Any amount is appreciated.