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How not to reform the NHS

Time and again what I found out in government is that pinpointed attention—and money—is what gets things done. Rewiring structures often produces nothing but harm

By Andrew Adonis  

Photo: Islandstock / Alamy Stock Photo

Rearranging the deck chairs in public service management structures is almost always a pointless and expensive displacement activity. It is the last refuge of governments wanting to divert attention from their own failings or—worse—a ploy to distract from problems caused by underfunding, by declaring war on “the system.”

Matt Hancock’s touted reorganisation of the NHS, less than a decade after his Tory predecessor Andrew Lansley last reorganised it from top to bottom at huge cost and controversy, doesn’t even have a rationale which makes sense.

His claim that reorganisation is needed to increase ministerial control and foster…

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