Healthcare barons, aristos, fair damsels and fools

The HSJ has been trumpeting the “top 100″ healthcare leaders using language redolent of feudal barons and aristocrats.  It’s not po-faced to say the whole tone of this is unfortunate. Barons and aristos are most definitely NOT what the NHS needs now. What next?  Gender neutral fair damsels, jousting and court jesters?  Well Boris Johnson is in the list at number 99.   Gadzooks!


The whole cod-mediaeval tone is amusing, sure, but it belies the tribalism, turf wars and power struggles which have got us into much of the mire we currently see in the disorganisation of the NHS, the unconnectedness of services from the user perspective and the waste of resources for mediocre user satisfaction with many services.  That hasn’t gone away and we are probably in for another round of it once the new system switches on in the spring and the consolidating CCGs start their struggle with the expanding CB.

Lauding a new “healthcare aristocracy” is not the way out.  What we need is bucket-loads of leadership to get out of it, and that has to come from the front line, grass roots or whatever else you want to call it. Especially from patients themselves.  The job of the “aristos” is not to get in the way.

Time for some revolting peasants/patients

David Gilbert has been through the “top 100″ list and claims to have found five patient leaders.  At least there were some.  And he’s called on Twitter for a target for next year  – one-third of the top 100 in the HSJ list being patient leaders.  “By this time next year, let’s have at least 1/3 of the HSJ top 100 being patient leaders.  This year it’s about five people.”

Now that is a target for the NHS we could wholeheartedly support.





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