Conspiring to make things better

Comedy writer for ‘The Thick of It’, Ian Martin, recently wrote in the Guardian that:
“In my experience, NHS bureacracy will conspire to kill you”. However, his following point was, “In my experience, NHS staff will conspire to save your life.”

Martin is a satirist, so this is not necessarily a fair and balanced description of NHS systems of course, but many a true word…

Systems are only really people of course. Even in this day and age, we don’t have many interactions with the NHS which are entirely with a computer or machine, with no human input. Systems are ways in which humans behave and interact when they are put together in a particular way, usually one designed to ensure that large numbers of people act with a common purpose. That common purpose is rarely to harm us of course, but it too often feels that way, with the good things that people do feeling like transgressions.

If we can understand how to help people act with common purpose without that purpose starting to feel corrupted and corrupting, we will have a social care system where the words ‘social’ and ‘system’ don’t feel in eternal opposition.

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