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They think it's all over. It is now


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They think it's all over. It is now

The Confederation is all over for another year, but for anyone who wasn’t there or was watching the football instead, here is a small selection of action replays.

“We tried to kill the QIPP brand half way through QIPP based on some concerns that it was a stupid name, which it probably is.”
Jim Easton, national director of improvement and efficiency
“Cynics might say ‘Haven’t we had three once in a generation reviews since 2000?’ – the generations are presumably cats.”
Nigel Edwards, acting chief executive, NHS Confederation

“Life expectancy for women in Zimbabwe is about 34. Life expectancy for women in Japan is 86. There’s no good biological reason why there should be a spread of 50 years in life expectancy across the world.”
Professor Sir Michael Marmot, department of epidemiology and public health, University College London

“The single-minded focus that we surely need on QIPP will simply not be possible because leaders will be preoccupied with another round of organisational change just at the very point when they need to be making it happen.”
Chris Ham, chief executive, King’s Fund

“We do not want to be the French football team of the NHS.”
Sir David Nicholson, chief executive, NHS, speaking before England became the new France

“Managers love reform. They say they don’t, but they do.”
Jim Easton

“It’s okay to be confused at the moment. That’s an acceptable state of mind.”
Nigel Edwards

The defining characteristic is not the brilliance of the vision. You can have the most fantastic and coherent vision…but unless the transition is properly led, you simply won’t deliver it.”
Sir David Nicholson

One of the biggest wastes that I see as I go round the country and meet colleagues is the waste of spirit, the waste of enthusiasm.”
Dr James Kingsland, national clinical lead for practice-based commissioning

“My role is to be a leader and not a dictator.”
Andrew Lansley, secretary of state for health

“Health inequalities are not a footnote to the concern with health. They are the concern with health.”
Sir Michael Marmot

“It says ‘leaders’ on the tin. That’s what we’ve got to do now.”
Sir David Nicholson

 “I am kind of hoping that I will be the first secretary of state for health whose principal purpose has been to give up power right through my time in office – to empower others rather than take power for myself.”
Andrew Lansley

“There has never been better rhetoric…There has never been more uncertainty about the reality.”
Jeremy Taylor, chief executive, National Voices

 “We retreat to our fortress, we draw up the drawbridge, we talk collaboration and we don’t do it – and I think that’s an enormous risk for all of us.”
Angela Greatley, chair, the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust

“I’ve been abolished three times in my career.”
Jim Easton

“The big danger…is to circle the wagons and hope the cavalry come. Unfortunately our experience is that the thunder of hooves in the distance may be the Sioux nation.”
Nigel Edwards

“When you say to the Treasury I want to give seventy to eighty billion to GPs, what are they saying?
Question to Andrew Lansley from Sarah Montague, conference chair and presenter of the Today programme on BBC Radio 4

And finally, since we started with a football analogy, let’s end with one.

The health secretary struggled to work out exactly where exactly to put PCTs in the following ad lib. The right answer, of course, is on the plane home.

“You are literally in the terraces as it were, but actually we, all of us, strictly speaking, and you more than me, we’re on the pitch.”

It’s okay to be confused.