Sunday 24 January 2010

Suck It Up

Peter Preston, gullible Labour mouthpiece of the day.

It may be unfashionable to say so, but targets have repeatedly been shown in fact to work

Anyone who has experienced booking a GP appointment before, and after, waiting targets were introduced, will attest to the ingenuity of the public sector (and humans, in general, to be fair) in cheating the gamers. Still, let's bear him out.

And yet, here is a five-year inquiry by the Economic and Social Research Council which shows that, yes, targets do work. And here's a walloping survey from the Nuffield Trust looking at NHS performance in England, where targets still rule the roost, and devolved Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, where they don't. And yet again, targets work.

That's the ESCR which, according to its 'About Us' page is ...

... an independent organisation, established by Royal Charter, but receive most of our funding through the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

And the Nuffield Trust, whose accounts detail alliances with Labour GOAT, Lord 'I'll say anything for my party' Darzi, and research contracts from the Department of Health.

Yep, forget the experiences of we poor saps who use the NHS, and the demoralised front-liners who continually speak of Labour's bureaucratic obstacles to actually getting the job done.

And forget the human trait of playing the box-ticking game for the express purpose of passing the box-ticking test. The government-funded box checkers have spoken, and their word is indisputable.

It's modern politics. Pay for a flood of government-friendly info and gullible sponges will suck it up without question.


JohnRS said...

The gullible sponges may well suck it up - but they're not going to be the ones standing in the polling booth on May 6th, pencil in hand deciding where to place their 'X'

"On the day" personal experience will matter a lot more than anything these deluded idiots try to tell us.

Sam Duncan said...

Sure, targets “work” if you accept the fiddled statistics as legitimate results.

Waiting list targets “worked” in that official waiting lists are shorter, but that ignores all the people kicked off the lists without treatment. For another example, I don't know how it works Down South, but here in Jockland there are now no waiting lists for physiotherapy, because you're no longer officially referred by your GP. He just tells you to pop along to your local physio department and “drop in”. So how many people are waiting? Nobody knows, but officially, none. Target met, box ticked, job done.

And that's been the trouble all along with targets: they can appear to work to those who set them while actually making things worse for everyone else.

(WV: worpicoc. I categorically deny that this is what I was on a waiting list for...)