In defence of targets…..

The negative impacts of targets in the NHS have been well documented over recent years. But what about their positive effects?

A recent episode of the BBC’s Radio 4 Analysis programme looked at the case for targets. The programme asks “Can their combination of statistical and managerial rigour improve our public services?”

The BBC says that  “[Targets are] often hated by frontline staff, criticised by statisticians and now even their political backers seem to be drifting away. But there’s a lot more to targets than just ticking boxes – this programme finds evidence [actually, with reference to the comment by Howard Clark, below, what the programme appears to find is more ‘opinion’ than hard ‘evidence’ – Ed.] that they really can work to raise standards. Contributors include Liam Byrne, Minster for Public Service Reform; Richard Hamblin of the Care Quality Commission; John Seddon, Vanguard Consulting; and Gwyn Bevan of the LSE.”

For further information, click here.

A podcast of the programme is available for a short time and can be downloaded here.

Readers might like to visit the Vanguard Consulting website The Systems Thinking Review, which contains a wealth of interesting information and guidance on Vanguard’s ‘Systems Thinking’ approach, including a video introduction by John Seddon.

One Response to In defence of targets…..

  1. Howard Clark says:

    I listened to this and whilst I am obviously biased, i certainly do not agree that this constituted ‘evidence’.

    It did however, involve a number of people’s opinions.

    For a more evidence-based perspective please see the following article:

    http://www.thesystemsthinkingreview.co.uk/index.php?pg=18&backto=1&utwkstoryid=187

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