Friday 27th July 2012 is a date that is likely to live long in the memory. That evening – along with millions of others across the nation – my senses were assailed by the spectacle that was the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics.
For me the show was of particular significance as it fused two great passions in my life; sport and the NHS. I was particularly delighted that the good people at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) took centre stage as it was only a few months ago that my six year old daughter was under their care. And what care it was; pretty much faultless in every regard.
GOSH is a timely reminder of what world class healthcare looks and feels like and the Olympics instructs us in what it takes to deliver world class performance. World class performance is delivered by people not structures. World class performance is certainly not delivered by people whose mind-sets are narrow, insular and introspective. Success is attained through communal endeavour and driven by a unified vision that is forged through the interconnectivity of expert practitioners. Team GB is so called for good reason. In short if we believe in a better healthcare service for the future, we had all better work together to realise the vision.
If clinical commissioning is to play a part in that better future, then commissioning support needs to be truly that; supportive. The best commissioning support solutions will be driven by a coalition of the talents and we should embrace the notion that such alliances may be forged from the best that the public, private, third sector and academia has to offer.
No man is an island and one of the most telling images of the Olympics for me was when Bradley Wiggins – ‘fresh’ from gold medal glory in the Time Trial – tore himself away from that garish throne in Hampton Court to seek out the friends and family who had helped put him there.
I talk a lot about the NHS family. The NHS has more friends than enemies and it will take the best, the boldest and the bravest – working together towards a common cause – to deliver gold medal performance. ‘Team Commissioning’ if you like.
We owe it to our children.