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May
21

There comes a point in everyone’s life when you have to make a big decision: do I stay or do I go?  It could be a job, a relationship, a country, but the decision is big because you know if you decide to go, the consequences are going to be significant.

In January 2015 I made the decision to leave NHS Nene Clinical Commissioning Group.  I had worked there for seven and a half years, and I wanted to do something different.  But I didn’t just leave the CCG, I left the NHS.  I had reached the point where I honestly believed (and still do) that the NHS system has become such that making significant change from within it is virtually impossible.  The day to day financial and operational challenges relegate focussing on transformational change to a mere afterthought.

Delivering transformational change requires real focus, freedom from distractions, and the ability to do things differently.  For me that opportunity sits in the creation of a new organisation, one that works with the NHS, but is not part of it: Ockham Healthcare.

Ockham was incorporated on the 27th March 2015, and is part think tank, part consultancy.  It will work on very specific areas of work: those areas that provide the greatest opportunity for transformation and where the greatest additional support is required.  It will provide a range of web based information, tools and support that are free and available to all.  It will promote debate and conversation.  It will be a platform for change.

The very first Ockham programme is the development of general practice.  General practice is in crisis.  Worse it is unsupported by the system as it attempts to transform itself.  Ockham will provide the support that the system appears reluctant to give.  Access our information and resources via the website, www.ockham.healthcare.

The establishment of Ockham does, however, signal the end of CCG Information.  I will leave the website up, as a resource for CCGs, and as a record of the journey that CCGs have been on.  Thank you for all the support that you have given to me and the site, and I hope you will stay connected through Ockham.  You contact also me directly on ben@ockham.healthcare.

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Jul
13

Hello all!  Thanks for all the messages of support since my last post at the end of February, where I asked the question as to what next for the website.  Many of you contacted me directly with a number of suggestions, and many gave direct offers of help, and I really appreciate all of your input.

In the end I have decided to continue the blog with support from those with more technical capability than myself!  As a result the blog will now be hosted by The Information Daily (www.theinformationdaily.com ), which will provide a much better platform for both hosting and disseminating the content more widely.

Just for the record I still do not receive any form of payment or income for the blog, which is, and always has been, designed to support those working in and with health.

The first of the posts on the new platform is now live, and you can access it by clicking here.  It is entitled, ‘NHS cannot transform healthcare while defending the status quo’, and I argue that radical change may need to come from outside the NHS.

For the next few months I will post a message as a prompt that the new weekly blog is out.  Thank you for your continued support, and do let me know (mail@clinicalcommissioninggroups.info) if you have any specific questions or topics you would like me to cover.

Thanks

Ben

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Feb
23

I set ccginformation.com up at the start of 2012.  Since then I have posted every week for over two years about CCGs and all the issues that they have faced in setting up and getting established.  There are now 110 articles on the site, covering issues ranging from making commissioning support effective to the future of general practice. 

The information on the website is provided completely free of charge.  There are hundreds of subscribers to the site receiving the weekly blog.  The most popular articles are (surprisingly) the ones on estates and NHS Property Services! 

The site has offered support to CCGs in the year before they were formally established and in their first year with the new responsibilities.   As we now approach the completion of this first year of CCGs as statutory bodies it is time for a review of the site.  Over the course of the next month I will be considering the following options, and with this I would really value your help.

As I see it there are 6 possible ways forward:

  1. No change.  I could continue to produce a weekly blog as I do now and adapt the content to the changing needs of CCGs as they evolve into the future.
  2. Adapt the existing site.  I could continue with the current site, but adapt the content, format, style so that it better meets your needs.  For this you will need to tell me how you would want it to change.
  3. Start a totally new blog/website.  I could draw a line under the period of the establishment of CCGs, and leave ccginformation.com as it is without adding any further content.  I could set up a new blog or website and focus on a new or different area. 
  4. Start a podcast.  As far as I can tell there is no regular podcast within the NHS at present.  As podcasts grow in popularity there must be a place for one within the NHS.  I have no idea how to set one up, but could set about finding out!
  5. Work with others. I have largely produced the content for ccginformation.com on my own.  For any of options 2, 3 or 4 above I could work with any interested individuals to make them happen with a wider range of input (let me know if you are interested!).
  6. Stop altogether.  I could of course draw a line under the work to date, recognise the value that it has added so far, but stop and focus on other things.

As I carry out the review over the next month, I would really value your input.  It would really help me if you could let me know what you find valuable about the site, what does not work very well, and what you think of the options outlined above as regards a way forward.  Please email me on mail@clinicalcommissioninggroups.info to let me know your thoughts. 

Just to be clear this means that there will be no posts for the next month.  Before the end of March once the review is completed I will update on the way forward.  I look forward to hearing from you in the mean time, and thanks in advance for your help!