A wise man is one who knows he knows nothing
Okay, so I’m a woman, but I strive to be wise and here I am, risking ridicule, admitting how little I really know about the NHS and current conversation about the Health Reform Bill. But before you turn your nose up at my ignorance, please stop for a moment and give me some credit for a) daring to admit the holes in my knowledge and b) being proactive enough to try to change that, for that is what this blog aims to do.
I need your help
I am a fan of the NHS. I can’t imagine life without it. I’ve spent time in the US and am utterly gobsmacked by the reality of their (lack of) health system. Paying to see a doctor? It just doesn’t compute in my mind. I realise how lucky we are to have the NHS.
I know that there have been big changes over the last few years, but I don’t know enough about them. I know that there has been a lot of conversation about the management of the NHS, but I don’t know enough about the structure of the health service to know if these were positive changes. I’ve heard about postcode lotteries and a push to allow patients more ability to choose where they are treated, but I don’t know if that makes things better or worse.
I know that there is a lot of talk about the Health Reform Bill at the moment, but to my shame, I’ve not had the time to try to unpick what it is and what it means for the health service, or what it includes at all, if I’m really honest. I know there has been debate about shifting more decisions onto doctors: “they are on the frontline, they know better where the money should be spent” vs “they are doctors, they should be concentrating on using their medical training to treat people”, but I don’t know where we’re up to with that.
Twitter has opened my eyes to the unease of people in the medical profession, I follow a lot of people specifically because they have better insight and knowledge about subjects I care about. In fact it was this tweet this morning from David Colquhoun to @libdemlife that made me stop and think about just how little I know.
In my defence, I can’t be the only one, and that’s why I want to do this. I want to create a bridge between those in the know, and those of us who support the NHS, but don’t have all the answers. Who don’t have all the facts we need to put forth strong arguments against all the points raised, and if, as it seems, this Health Bill is worrying those who works for the NHS, I want to make sure that I am armed with enough understanding of the issues that I can explain it to others.
If I can come up with a list of important questions (please feel free to suggest some) perhaps I can persuade some of those voices on Twitter to share their knowledge with me. It would be great if we could get some of these voices recorded so that I can put together a quick ‘Idiots’ Guide to NHS Reform’ podcast. Using Audioboo this would be very simple, and I’ll happily help with that side of things.
What I need to know
- Some general background to the NHS, why it’s such a good thing to have (sounds obvious, but for the sake of making a nice podcast, good to have)
- The current problems the NHS faces
- A bit about what the Health Reform Bill is
- What the split of opinions are, and who holds which
- Why people are against the bill
- What could happen if it goes through in its current form
- Why people should take note of what’s going on and what they can do about it
Can you help with any of these? Please get in touch if you can – either here in the comments on by sending me a tweet as @RadioKate.
I’d like to get a range of voices, and create a useful resource for those, like me, who support the NHS, but haven’t had a chance to learn all they should about what’s going on at the moment. I know I should know more about all this, but I feel a bit like it’s a hit TV series that everyone is talking about and I’ve missed the first few episodes, I need some people to help get me up to speed. Many thanks in advance.