Monday 22 June 2009

"The days of suffering in silence will soon be over..."

According to the Times. They quote Lord Adonis: "this new requirement gives [users] a direct and much louder voice on whether their needs are being met".

Rude staff, dirty facilities, unacceptable waiting times, provision of information will all now be measured and reported by users themselves - with providers failing to meet standards subject to fines of up to £500,000/year.

Sounds wonderful, and well overdue. However, this is for rail passengers - not for patients and their families.

Interesting to ponder why a government that claims health to be a central priority, decides to give the public power and a voice to help improve standards of trains, before enabling such powerful involvement in improving healthcare and the NHS.

But those committed to improving the NHS do not need to worry of course: the regulation announced by Lord Adonis is an example of the changes that will affect all industries and professions and indeed already has done so for many. The provision of healthcare will benefit more than most sectors by enabling true involvement of users, and harnessing the power and wisdom of patients to help organisations deliver truly great care. Just a shame to see doctors lagging far behind other professional groups in welcoming and leading these transformational potentials.

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