On my way home last week I read a short article in the London Evening Standard about an elderly woman who had fallen over in her home and couldn’t get up. She survived by melting ice from her fridge for six days, huddled by her oven for warmth, until somebody heard her banging on the wall.
There were so many sad and shocking things contained in such a short article that I almost just wanted to shut down and ignore it, but the fact is that these stories are not uncommon and the very last line made me angry.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower said he had two kinds of problems: the urgent and the important. “The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent." This week is the NHS Confederation’s annual shindig and as with every meeting of this type the great and the good will meet to discuss the urgent. That is usually money, policy fads, structures, maybe vanguards this year, NMCs, ACOs, OBC and any other acronym you can pluck from your alphabet soup. What won’t get a look in is the genuinely important.