Sensible ideas.

Well, I’m on record as saying that since June, 2010, I’m all in with Team Desiccated Calculating Machine. And wouldn’t that be a good name for a blog.

So, here’s a bland and technocratic thing. The Health Service Journal reports Andy Burnham’s NHS speech, and seems to think it’s pretty good.

The key points are that the health, mental health, and social care elements would be rolled together, the CCGs and CSOs zapped, and most of the funding handed to local authorities (aka “people you vote for”). The central specialised services – basically the stuff carved out of CCG commissioning in the Lansley setup – would stay with the Department of Health, with the super-CCG also taking its hat and coat. NHS in-house provision would be the default option.

Well, I think I can work with that. Most of the HSJ commenters do, too, although they worry that the local authority social workers are suspicious of medics and the culture boundary would be a problem.

Now here’s something else. The Chamberlain Files from Birmingham reports on something that sounds a lot like a local version of the Future Jobs Fund/job guarantee, which apparently:

owes much to the previous Labour Government’s Total Place project, which encouraged public bodies to pool budgets and work more closely together

To put it another way, Total Place was the Brown government’s belated recognition that chopping up public services into a mess was counterproductive and a bit of clarity was helpful. But if you screw your eyes up, perhaps there’s a strategy emerging here: treat the Tories as damage and route around them. Not just trying out ideas at the local level, but actually following through and starting to deliver. Obviously, the Simple Plan is a prime example.

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