Dr Chris Mimnagh: The NHS must be prepared to try new things - even 'Carebnb'

The NHS needs to fail often and fail fast. Just wait a second before you click on by to post a comment on my blasphemy.

Last week a trust in Southend was mocked for considering a 'Care bnb' scheme to get post-op recovery to happen out of the trust and in community beds in private homes. Public outcry made them reconsider, and that's a shame.

Whether it's a good idea or not we needed to try it.

The NHS needs to be sustainable and that occurs when we evolve to match the environment. The demise of multi-generational family homes, the rise of the ageing population, the growth of twin wage earning households means that families can not take time off for care.

The internet has changed everything, forever.

Except the NHS of course.

We're still on the mainframe. Hospital- and building-based in a world where the biggest bookseller doesn't publish books, the biggest taxi company owns no cars, the biggest phone supplier doesn't own a network.

So, since we're a dinosaur, with campaigns being mounted to save us, our only hope is to evolve, try as many new things as possible, keep the things that work, abandon the things that don't.

This will upset our friends fighting to 'save' the NHS. Those striving to keep their local DGH are actually strangling evolution and condoning the relegation of the NHS to history, they will kill what they seek to save.

So please, change, challenge and chance a new way of working. Do it now, fail fast and fail often, so we can get to what really works and save the NHS, not as it is, but as it will be in the future.

  • Dr Chris Mimnagh is a GP in Liverpool and head of clinical innovation liaison and deployment at The Innovation Agency, the academic health science network for the north-west coast.

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