A misguided comment from Sarah Wollaston

downloadLate yesterday the Guardian published this article on a significant disagreement between the Childrens Commissioner, Anne Longfield and Simon Stevens, the CEO of NHS England. The article which has the headline ‘Children’s tsar savages NHS over paucity of mental healthcare’ reflects the tone of this letter sent by Anne to Simon very well, but the letter is well worth a read simply because of its sharpness as well as the details included that are not covered by the article due to its limited length. At the end of the article there is a quote from Sarah Wollaston ‘Sarah Wollaston, chair of the health select committee, said the row would be discussed when the committee met on Tuesday. “It’s very important that there is a constructive relationship between the Office of the Children’s Commissioner and NHS England,” she said.’ I disagree with Sarah on this comment, even though I have often been very supportive of her views. Of course in an ideal or even a realistic world one would wish to see all senior civil servants and Governmental advisers resolving their points of view together and then presenting their consistent views in a harmonic way. However when things go wrong, as they clearly have over mental health provision, if the NHS is unwilling to accept its failures, then public disagreement between people like Anne and the work of the NHS is vital or else we will end up sweeping such failures under the carpet. Let us hope that on Tuesday the Health Select Committee agrees to bring both Anne and Simon together and in an open and transparent manner, debate the truth and issues behind the letter and previous appearence in Parliament. Of course there is a real possibility that Simon Stevens has previously told lies in front of the Health Select Committee and if this is the case he needs to be held to account for his dishonesty and defensiveness.

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
This entry was posted in Health Reform, Parliament and Democracy, Youth Issues and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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