"The NHS will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it"
Aneurin Bevan

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Temple, moneychangers and dog food

I am not a believer, but I will allow a little bit of god in this blog today.

"And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves." (Matthew 21, 12-13)

It really is time to rid the Temple of the moneychangers. The Temple is the Department of Health, the moneychangers are the vast numbers of people on secondment from the private sector. There is a huge conflict of interest with people from the private sector "advising" the government on healthcare. We have to stop the revolving door between the department and the private sector.

Microsoft use a term: dogfooding. The term comes from the phrase "eat your own dog food" meaning that if a manufacturer thinks that their dog food is so nutritious and tasty they would be willing to eat it themselves. (Talk privately with Microsoft developers and they will tell you that Microsoft is somewhat selective about dogfooding when it comes to their own developing tools.) I think the Department of Health should have a dog food policy. Make it a sackable offence to use a private healthcare provider. The justification is clear: how can someone formulating NHS policy do it effectively if they do not use the NHS themselves? How can the public be at all confident in NHS services if the civil servants designing them do not use the NHS themselves?

These two policies: cleansing the Temple and dogfooding will do wonders for NHS policy.


  1. Thanks for this, Richard.

    Two powerful metaphors to make the powers that be uncomfortable.

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