In my 20s, I worked in management accountancy roles in the NHS whilst gaining valuable systems insight from studying ACCA - particularly the Management Information Systems module. This was followed by several years working in international healthcare equity research. And the combination of these organisational analysis experiences left me in no doubt that an entire system is always greater than the parts. In other words, society MUST aim for the parts of a system to become as simple, efficient and uniform as possible, otherwise organisations can become completely and utterly unmeasurable and thus unmanageable. And unfortunately the NHS falls into this pitiful bracket - a fact that is exemplified by the likes of the Mid Staffs scandal where no one knew what was really going on till it was too late. Therefore, when Dr Lee's Super Hospital System plan for his constituency came on to my healthcare campaign radar in 2012, I knew immediately it was THE solution to the NHS's problems. To me, this structure is a living, breathing Management Information System and if I'd been a multi-millionaire, I'd have written a cheque to bulldoze and rebuild the entire NHS there and then.
Based on MIS and logistical principles, I believe it stands to reason that where possible, an authority should chunk up acute services on to one site whilst ensuring specialist community services are placed in strategic positions around the local area. In fact, it probably isn't really beyond GCSE economics or maths knowledge to recognise that this design achieves maximum economies of scale and provides a much-needed strategic blueprint with which to create vital systems parity across the NHS. In fact, the Super Hospital system design has been nicknamed 'the hub and spoke model' and to me this speaks volumes in respect of its innate operational efficiencies. And much to the delight of the Bracknell community, as well as excellent testament to Dr Lee's vigorous campaign efforts, the Brants Bridge Urgent Care Centre recently opened its doors - the creation of which I believe is a 'quantum step' towards this state-of-the-art and fundamentally MIS-powered healthcare systems design becoming a reality.
This specialist community treatment centre will be open from 8am to 8pm 365 days per year and aims to see 30,000 urgent cases over that period. The new services include a dedicated children's clinic, access to GPs, links to primary care and a specialist minor injuries and illnesses unit. In fact, I believe its dedicated children's clinic introduces a superior community system standard with which to detect child cruelty cases and thus take swift action.
Unfortunately disorganised public systems are the bane of child protection agencies but state-of-the-art specialist structures such as Brants Bridge enable efficient resourcing, record keeping, reporting and comparative analysis to be made. A high-tech, calm, focused and consistent treatment environment will also prevent undue suspicion because it becomes easier to establish whether accident-proneness or a random spike of family events is at play, rather than something more sinister. Therefore, perfectly decent people are not put through a needless hell of accusations.
Furthermore, the entire model removes a massive and needless patient burden from A&E and thus priority cases are treated as priority cases and not condemned to 'death by doctor distraction'. Personally, I think it is a tragedy when a talented and dedicated Doctor is blamed for a death that is entirely down to an unmanageable workload. In my experience of working in the NHS, some of those A&Es resemble overpopulated wild animal enclosures on certain nights of the week. And it was in this very culture of understaffing, stress and chaos that Baby P's broken back was probably overlooked. Furthermore, it is truly terrifying and saddening that via this act of system negligence, our appalling and essentially 'MIS-less' NHS condemned Baby Peter to an even greater wave of violence and his subsequent death.
Finally, as bad systems beget bad systems, good systems beget good systems - that's just the way it is. It is too late for the likes of poor Baby P, but we CAN seek to protect other children who are at risk by supporting MPs who promote this essential state-of-the-art, MIS-powered Super Hospital system model.