Sunday, November 20, 2016


Post truth. That's the word nowadays. The Oxford dictionary has said so- and we are where we are. 

Defined by the dictionary as an adjective “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”- in other words, simply put "all bets are off". The days of evidence, the days of rational debate lies in tatters- its now about emotions, its about beliefs, its about "taking sides", its about "with us or against us"….the divides are sharp, the discussions are bruising and nothing, simply nothing is any more "unacceptable". In a notable diversion from usual business, both sides of the Atlantic chose the same word this time- the world of "post-truth"

In a world fed up by establishment let-downs, the sheer impact of political correctness, we have the rise of the personalities, the world of the outrageous…the signs were there- when Z-grade "celebrities" were feted by the media compared to genuine artistes…who needs a Dylan when you have a Kardashian…we now have moved to the full blown culture of outrageousness- where its politically correct or a liberal to say "sexism or racism is not acceptable"…the cult of publicity hungry figures- the utterances of Katie Hopkins & Piers Morgan occupies more time than Aleppo. We are numbed to brutalities, numbed to yet another dead child…we are more fascinated by what Trump will tweet next. The US elections played out like Brexit 2.0 - a fixed social media bubble that the "righteous" would win, while millions just got tired and fed up of the rhetoric and just wanted "change"- however outrageous it may be. 

Where in this world does the ethos of an NHS exactly sit anymore? The belief of everyone having care based on need, little else- the fantasy of liberal elements or the sign of a "modern" society? Or it is the definition of "modern" that has now changed forever? The NHS or its future seems to be playing out in a similar manner- a camp who predicts doom at all turns, pictures of people dying in the streets, professionals scrapping for day to day living, the only thing that would impact change being money, NHS England are the dark side..…countered by a world where its simply about working together, working differently, irked by the folks who scream blue murder at the mention of any changes, exhorting the erst to do more when theres little left in the tank. The divisions are sharp, the politics is dark- and many many folks watch this unfold with a depending sense of macabre predictability 

Having said that, there are always rays of hope…hope that out of all of this, something, maybe something will come out. As part of this blog, I wanted to mention 2 recent meetings I have had with my NHSE hat on- which gives me hope…hope that perhaps -somewhere along the sharp lines of divide, exists some hope. 
The first one has been the BMA and GP colleagues- a refreshing view to whats possible on many issues and the second one the junior doctors organisation in diabetes, the YDEF. I won't go into details but I have been touched, humbled and delighted to see the approach- built on one fundamental bit- to improve care for folks with diabetes. And to me, thats good enough.

We live in odd times but I have been, am and always will be an eternal optimist- and I believe in the basic essence of humanity to do good. So far, in my role, I have come across so many willing to try- that just maybe, in the post truth era, we may have a chance. 

Who knows- but when you ask a group of junior doctors to design a pathway for Type 1 diabetes- and they start with making the patient needs the primary aim…there's hope. 

Theres always hope. And till that is there, its always worth a try.Don't try and convince me otherwise- and please, don't dissuade anyone else from trying either.

1 comment:

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