Posts Tagged ‘Lord Darzi’

The Curse of Blog

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Lord Darzi has resigned. I think he must of heard about this blog and my devastating (if yet to be finished) attack on Choose and Book, and decided to go before I delivered it to him…
OK, so officially he’s going “to devote more time to his clinical role and academic research”. Fair enough, if it’s true.
UPDATE – Continuing the Private Eye theme: Lord Darzi – An Apology
Readers of this blog may have formed the impression that I hold Lord Darzi responsible for the calamity that is the NHS Choose and Book system. This is of course very far from the truth. Choose and Book (hereafter C & B) predated his investiture and appointment as a minister, so it can’t be his fault. Some digging reveals that it’s more likely to be Alan Milburn or John Reid, both of whom were Health Secretary in 2003 which seems to be when C & B got the green light as part of the disastrous NPfIT. So maybe I should be aiming my ire at Richard Granger (NPfIT architect) instead, or maybe some nameless policy wonk at the Department for Health, or the big boss at the time, T. Blair?
The reason I focussed on Darzi while experiencing the lunacy I did at the hands of C & B was that he was conducting his high profile review of the NHS as part of Gordon Brown’s ‘Goverment of all the talents’ (GOATs). I thought it might be a good idea to see what he had to say on C & B – but when I looked at his wikipedia page, the links to his reports weren’t working…The timing of the announcement was interesting, too – late yesterday (14th July 2009), and as of today it seems to have completely disappeared from the news agenda, despite the fact that he is the last but one of the GOATs to leave government. No mention of it today at PMQs, despite the chance to score some cheap points for the opposition.
Having read a couple of articles on the BBC, it looks like Darzi wisely avoided talking about C & B or the NPfIT, and that most of what he recommended makes sense. So sorry, Lord Darzi, you should never have been in my sights.
I found some real gems while poking around on the net for this post, including this wonderful survey from last year. OK, it’s a small sample, but it did conclude “In this study, patients did not experience the degree of choice that Choose and Book was designed to deliver”. I will try and find the time to read the rest of the report, which I’m sure will be hilarious; after all, they found that “32% [of C & B sample] reported not being given any choice of hospital”. Some choice.