Evolution and Revolution
While in a secondhand bookshop at the weekend I picked up John Gall 's book Systemantics. In it he describes the seductive nature of systems, which promise to do a hard job faster and more easily, but once set up take on their own life, growing and encroaching and eventually even opposing their own function.
Technological and demographic forces mean heathcare systems like the NHS cannot avoid major disruption. But, in another small book, Bodil Jonsson says: "All disruptive changes have at least one effect: they upset people."
Perhaps with that in mind both the Secretary of State for Health, Patricia Hewitt, and the Leader of the Opposition, David Cameron, speaking at last week's NHS Confederation Conference in London tried to soften the blow. Mr. Cameron promised "evolution not revolution". Though the phrase has a nice rhetorical ring, it means more change. Bodil Jonsson also says: "The most effective way of changing the future is to create a new system of thought." Perhaps that's what healthcare needs.