Going the extra mile!
The part consultation plays in mitigation strategies
We have all learnt to be a bit careful believing what we read on the side of a bus! But what struck us about the local bus as it passed the Institute Headquarters this week was the advertisement for a cheaper fare to the hospital.
Who was responsible? The local NHS has been centralising services at Bedford’s South Wing hospital for a while, and maybe it wants to ease the difficulties of reaching the South Wing site. The local authority has been loud in opposing some of these changes and is strongly defending its local hospital. Perhaps it has chosen to subsidise the service? A third possibility is that the enterprising family firm that now has the contract for local routes wants to show its community credentials – or it’s just a marketing campaign.
In a sense, it does not matter who can claim the credit – it’s still welcome and illustrates the small-scale practical responses, that are possible when creative minds apply themselves to the consequences of change in public services.
We need more emphasis on mitigation – the search for actions that can help members of the public use services or find alternatives to traditional practices. In principle, it should not be difficult, but is too often just an afterthought.