Freedland and rules

Thank you, Jonathan Freedland, in yesterday’s Guardian for both writing an upbeat article about the NHS (actually thanks for the upbeat article, and thanks for it being about the NHS), and, for your coverage of WhatsApp in healthcare.

You see, we have a problem – the NHS – behemoth, leviathan, whatever you call it, cumbersome and at times lacklustre, fuelled by the passion, energy and magic of a million staff is I agree the brightest aspect of the UK today. It is a light that shows us, no matter the crap, the self-interest, Global Warming, populism; when you come-down to the individual, one person connecting with another at their time of need is what it is to be human.

What Freedland highlights is the intersection between technology and person-centred care; remove the middle-man, the organisation – NHS Trust, Commissioners, NHS England, the Department of Health and, you are left with the human spirit that has enabled us to exist within societies for millennia.

The rules are the way in which society, organisations and people operate.

Look left then right, then left.

Brush your teeth.

Wash your hands.

Hold the pencil properly.

Our societies exist because of rules, regulations and oversight that is passed-down father to son, grannie to grandchild, through the generations, sure they help, they prevent cars knocking your down, caries, infections and scabby handwriting. Yet, we, that is people, are so very good at rule-keeping and so terrified of rule-breaking that we miss the opportunities hiding alongside.

We jump to conclusions. We assume.

The patient must have the medicine because it is prescribed.

I know this hurts, but I need to do the test.

Are you asleep?

Whatever the silliness, we are very good at following instructions.

This is loss aversion.

If I break the rules, allow the patient to sleep, I might…

Evolution is breaking the rules.

It is trying new ways of living, being. It is experiment. It is embracing failure, when the alternative is failing anyway.

And back to the rules and setting yourself free.

The internet is there.

It is a thing.

No one knows enough.

Collective intelligence is the next step in our evolution.

Imagine if Darwin, Einstein, Marx and Freud had the Web at their disposal; imagine if they could have FaceTimed; sure, there might have been more dispute as to who had the idea, but these guys, and guys who are interested in finding meaning tend to care less about their legacy than the act of discovery.

So, get out your phones, Webchat, blog, finagle your way into the tech, all in the cause of improving.

I haven’t had a chance to thank everyone for the incredible send-off I received on Thursday. It was overwhelming and humbling. Such a group of amazing people – thank you and Namaste.

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