The Health Service Journal recently published its list of the 100 people in the UK with the greatest influence on health policy and the NHS. We were pleased, but not surprised, to see that our colleague and key advisor Professor Paul Corrigan was a new entry among them.
Paul’s career has spanned the academic, local government, national government and consultancy arenas. His contribution in his work with us is, and always has been, invaluable – particularly with regard to our work on Integrating Care. He is one of the leading opinion formers on this topic, and on healthcare more generally, so we’ve taken this opportunity to ask Paul a couple of searching questions about his approach to existing systems.
In a blog at the end of last year, PPL’s Alice Hopkinson described the need to dismantle existing systems in order to create new ones as “disruptive creation”. Is this a concept you adhere to when it comes to implementing integrated care?
I prefer to look at the care changes she is talking about as a battle between two different business models: an old one and a new one. We are talking here of very radical changes, where the people working and living within the old business model simply cannot envisage how the new one will work. To use an example by way of comparison: the idea that as customers of groceries we would all go to large shops outside of town and then do all the work in selecting the groceries ourselves – not to mention paying for them with our own bar coding – would have been a very odd notion prior to the creation of supermarkets. Those that defended the old business model said that the supermarket system would never work, and in particular that whole groups of people would not be able to shop there.
The new business model for care is based upon a very different set of relationships which, understandably, not all of us can envisage. To take another analogy, I grew up with music being reproduced on vinyl; the idea that people would be listening to music on the tube would have been thought of as mad!
Would you consider yourself a radical in the healthcare sector then?
I think I am thought of as a radical in the healthcare sector because I spend my time not only talking about new models of care, but also about radical methods of getting to those models.
What role does technology play in enabling a new integrated care model?
All integrated models of care are going to be more distributed, and will not be as bound to buildings for their delivery as the current fragmented model is. In other industries and services technology plays a powerful role in allowing and encouraging that distribution. However, technology needs to be a servant of that distribution and not its master.
If you’d like to read more of what Paul had to say about integrated care click here