Taking a closer look at the structure of Dr Lee’s healthcare vision for the UK and from the perspective of pure organisational and economic logic, his idea of creating super hospitals is a no brainer for a number of common sense reasons. And all these reasons relate to achieving efficiencies, saving money and creating the required information systems and lines of communication which will serve as a blueprint to reverse the trends of atrocious disorder which threaten to reduce the NHS to debris in the next decade or so.
In other words, the creation of Dr Lee’s cutting-edge constituency health service will be the first piece of a jigsaw or ‘geographical systems plate’, which represents the Bracknell area on a brand new, state-of–the-art NHS map which will stretch across the UK in a neat, logical and web-like configuration. In fact, I imagine the logic and legibility of the map will not be dissimilar to that of the UK Motorway network, but featuring a typical constituency as a healthcare ‘solar system’ in itself ie the sun will take the form of one super hospital and the planets will be represented by the surrounding community services. Each solar system will link together across the regions and all ‘information motorways’ will eventually lead to a ‘healthcare M25’ which will represent the information gateway encircling the Department of Health.
The following is a summary of the benefits of Dr Lee’s hub and spoke (or constituency healthcare solar system!) model:
1. Economies of scale achieved through integration – sharing of equipment, sharing manpower and all the other resources relating to healthcare provision
2. Avoiding temporal, financial and human loss relating to travel between hospitals
3. Sharing knowledge and skills
In essence, by way of building one super hospital with neat, operational lines fanning out to community services, Dr Lee is creating a new healthcare infrastructure ‘map’ for his constituency which is defined, logical and coherent in shape and on which a state of the art information and financial system can be overlaid. And as mentioned in previous blogs, the shape of the NHS infrastructure currently resembles a mighty and messy plate of 66 year-old 'spag-bog' which is not fit for the operational purposes of any institution, let alone one that is supposed to be providing 21st century medical care. In my opinion, the NHS is a downright systems structural and architectural farce and an insult to its hardworking and world-class work force, not to mention the taxpayer. In fact in some cases, we have patients and our precious healthcare workforce inhabiting conditions which would probably receive the equivalent of a guidebook rating below that of a lot of below-par backpacker lodgings.
Dr Lee cannot overhaul the health service alone, however, so the process of creating a network of hospitals across the UK which is based on the RTVH hub & spoke/’solar system’ model, will ultimately be a joint effort with fellow MPs and the wider UK population. The rate of cooperation he is able to secure, therefore, will depend on how rapidly society is prepared to listen to some home truths about the NHS system and its users. But let’s make it clear that this is not about Dr Lee pointing an accusing finger at anyone, this is about a 21st century healthcare systems pioneer saving the nation and its c.66 year old health system from itself by providing visibility and organisation to a dangerously creaking structure and promoting a culture which encourages the voluntary personal exorcism of unsustainable healthcare expectations. But most importantly Dr Lee’s mission is about protecting the vulnerable from the unthinkable and creating conditions for consistently efficient and innovative healthcare across the UK.
Fortunately, Dr Lee is an MP who forbids his constituents or anyone else for that matter to bury their heads in the sand, so I believe he is in the best position to drive home those healthcare home truths and create a world class health service in the very near future. Unfortunately, this task is not quite straightforward as the home truths which apply to its users have a lot to do with what has become wildly out-of-control individual and collective healthcare expectations generated by a contemporary culture which is obsessed with the likes of fitness, wellbeing, longevity, libido levels and maintaining a ‘tight but’, but on the other hand is freely indulging in all manner of unhealthy lifestyles. And coupled with our historic passivity in tolerating the haphazard navigation of a disorganised and financially invisible healthcare system, we are well on our way to witnessing the annihilation of the entire thing as we know it. However, those great but unsustainable expectations and their context will be explored in more detail in a future blog, along with the oncoming economic tsunami of a rapidly ageing population, which I believe leave us with no option but to collectively and urgently back Dr Lee’s national plan.
Finally but most importantly, I believe Dr Lee’s courage and passion in addressing such an urgent, controversial, vital and complex public systems problem will have infinite and ground-breaking effects on what we perceive can individually and collectively be achieved in pursuit of improving standards of living in general. In fact, I firmly believe that Dr Lee is about to do what Roger Bannister did for running and that is to break through a hitherto impenetrable socio-psychological barrier which in this case will serve to prove that we can go way beyond what we perceive as temporal, creative and operational limits to how society and its systems advance. And once that precedent is set, the sky may well be the limit for other natural leaders who feel driven to spearhead change in the UK and beyond. In other words and excuse my ‘French’, Dr Lee will go down in history as blazing a trail in the abolition of slavery to crap systems, because that is essentially the root of most of Society’s problems and one that without the likes of Dr Lee, politics across the world has largely proved itself incapable of addressing in any methodical fashion.