I was working in the North West of England on Wednesday as a facilitator at a large consultation event for the North West National Health Service.
I bumped into a good friend, author and business colleague Malcolm McClean who is the founder of the dynamic organisation Bear Hunt
During the event on Wednesday Malcolm came up with a wonderful expression that I will now steal and use in my work in healthcare (always crediting Malcolm as originator of course!)
The expression is: ‘Not invented here’
What Malcolm is driving at is the reluctance of managers and clinicians inside the NHS to welcome ideas from outside the NHS. He described how the NHS is producing various reports and documents about wanting to be a world class service.
Malcolm has been leading a fabulous initiative aimed at improving the mental health of young men by developing projects in partnership with professional football clubs in various parts of England – mainly the North West.
The project targets young men who are at risk of suicide due to mental illness. It has been a hugely successful venture with stories of young men whose lives have been turned around thanks to this project. It is an evidence based success.
Delighted with the way the project has gone, Malcolm wrote to all of the 302 Chief Executives of Primary Care Trusts in England asking them to consider the project in their own geographical area.
He had 7 replies. That means 295 Chief Executive could not be bothered even to respond to Malcolm.
And yet .... the NHS says it wants to be a world class service.
Malcolm has reached the conclusion that ‘Not invented here’ is an NHS syndrome.
I think he may well be right.
Apart from anything else – how come 295 Chief Executives do not have the decency to even acknowledge or reply to Malcolm's letter?
Despite working 35 years inside the NHS until 3 years ago I am still hurt and embarrassed by such bad manners and another sad example of how the NHS simply does not walk its own talk.