In another example of how hugely detached from reality he is, and how fixated he is on always being right, Cameron wants to introduce a patient assessment system for GP services which includes the question “Would you recommend this to family and friends?” (Pulse magazine.)
Despite the fact that this has been condemned as utterly useless by everyone from the GPs themselves to the NHS Alliance, Cameron insists it will be rolled out nationally.
There are many problems with this question, not least the fact that whatever it is the patient gets from their GP, the experience might well be utterly irrelevant to friends and family. In that case, a sensible patient might well decide to answer negatively, or ignore the question, despite the fact that “12.5% of the quality premium payments given to CCGs will depend on the results of the test.”
Then again, friends and family might not even be in the same practise catchment area, so answering the question at all would be pointless or, like me, patients might have no family anyway, which might also result in a negative answer.
The fact of the matter is that you cannot score medical services as if you were shopping for groceries or buying books from Amazon – the situation is far more complex than that.
I am – and no doubt others are too – already plagued by retailers seeking my approbation for their goods and services (I’ve got the goods, they’ve got my money – end of transaction as far as I’m concerned), I don’t need my GP adding to this steady torrent of crap (but if he does, he won’t enjoy my response because the bugger hasn’t been anywhere near me in nearly two years, despite the fact that I’m on the housebound list which, as I understand it, should get me an occasional visit just to check I’m alive!).
But to get back to this assessment, it seems perfectly clear that Cameron, rather than commission a purpose-specific questionnaire for patients to assess their GPs (why not hospitals too?), he’s just using a bog-standard market research tool in which the question “Would you recommend to family and friends?” scores highly, even though it’s entirely irrelevant in this situation.
This is just another example, if one were even needed, that Cameron hasn’t a clue what he’s doing, and simply makes stuff up as he goes along which, frankly, is dangerous.
Even more dangerous, as we’re seeing in so many areas, even when experts tell him he’s wrong, he flatly refuses to back down and always has to have his own way, a classic indicator of megalomania.
We saw this to a degree in Thatcher, but in Cameron it’s writ large and, as he seems to have no-one who will stand up to him, and that, along with the fact that he’s bookended by that giggling, incompetent, fool Osborne, and the increasingly deranged IDS, represents a massive danger to the ordinary people of this country.