Thursday, 9 February 2012

Patients first...

Imagine how our banking system would look if it were run for the customer. Modernist glass and beach wood waiting rooms fitted with plush, comfortable chairs before your Relationship Manager ushers you in to a private room for a consultation where their undivided attention addresses your financial health.

But rather than being paid for selling you more and expensive products, the opposite is true. After several years of in-depth training on the full range of financial products, they have a professional duty to ensure that any advice they give is demonstrably in the interests of the customer. Not the bank. A world where complaints are taken so seriously, that a Relationship Manager could be struck off by their professional body and serious fines imposed on the bank if incompetent practise were found.

Furthermore, that Manager is responsible for reappraising and reviewing any financial commitments at every stage of your life. Indeed, were any new commitment required - a smaller mortgage for instance - your Manager would not only explain and gain your consent, they would negotiate the terms with the lender, set up the contract and once up and running, review the commitment at regular intervals, mindful that better deals may well be switched into at any time. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

Well that is exactly what the Coalition's Health and Social Care bill is all about. Putting the patient first. And just like the scene above, when GPs are given commissioning powers, they'll manage the care of their patients, knowing exactly what is best for them, right through to a successful outcome and beyond. How terrifying is that?