Monday 28 January 2013

Broadening out 'choice': the campaign develops

Perhaps it is too early to say (Mao tse-Tung said this about the impact of the French Revolution) but the response to my review of Barriers to Choice in public services looks good so far.

The commentators have understood that I am trying to broaden the idea of choice, so that it is not just about competition - though competition on quality certainly has a place - but covers the range of flexibilities that people really want and need in the services they use.

This is certainly how the Guardian put it this morning and I very much endorse what they say here.

The indefatigable and influential NHS blogger Roy Lilley has also drawn attention to the report.  It is somewhat immodest of me to draw attention to what he says, but he is always entertaining and certainly is here.

The government now has to consider a formal response, but I hope that - by ending the stand-off between state and private provision - I have been able to do something to bring choice into line with what people really need.  I am increasingly convinced that flexible services are not just more popular but they are potentially very much better value for money.

What really creates costs in the public services is the kind of inflexible systems that can't deal with diversity - and that needs to be an important consideration in the services of the future.  Because unfortunately, the last decade or so have left our services seriously inflexible.  This is about more than choice, but let's start with broadening out the scope of choice.

1 comment:

Mark Pack said...

A slight digression: that French Revolution quote is a myth as the FT explained.