Tuesday, 26 January 2010

bedtime reading: "a revolutionary moment in the world's history - a time for revolutions not for patching" (William Beveridge 1942)

Do Beveridge’s words, as he laid the foundations for the UK welfare state in the dark days of WWII have any relevance today?

Our public services do face an unprecedented set of challenges: increasing demand, rising expectations, seemingly intractable social problems and reduced budgets. Reform can’t confront these challenges effectively: radical innovation in healthcare now needs to move from the margins to the mainstream. The question is what analysis and principles should inform this radical innovation?

The challenge of co-production” by David Boyle and Michael Harris quote Beveridge in their foreword and argue that equal partnerships between professionals and the public are crucial to improving public services. Given the current diversity of uses of the term “co-production”, the paper also explains what co-production isn’t. They claim co-production looks set to create the most important revolution in public services since the Beverage report of 1942. The document doesn’t only deal with the NHS, it’s about all public services but it sounds like an important read for those interested in health and healthcare.

The chapter “getting more for less” might be particularly relevant.