‘Not only are the Government’s communications failing to support the reforms, they are adding to the risks of failure,’ the paper stated.
The NHS Confederation represents most NHS organisations and the new discussion paper analyses concerns raised about the changes and suggests measures that the Government could take to address them.
The paper calls for an improvement in Government comms by ‘developing a compelling narrative in favour of the reforms, and not devaluing the NHS staff responsible for making the changes’.
Nigel Edwards, the confederation's acting chief executive, said that the Government needed to ‘ask itself some hard questions’ about how it manages the reforms moving forward.
Former NHS manager, Jo Spadaccino, who now heads up the pharma and life sciences division at Pegasus PR, said: ‘The Government undoubtedly has a tough job in walking the tightrope between being seen to respond to the views of its multiple publics, while demonstrating complete confidence in its vision.’
She added: ‘Perhaps making it clearer that the consultation process was not just a pre-bill exercise and that the door is still open would signify a more collaborative approach to decision-making, answer the critics who are concerned about the speed of reform, and importantly impact the tone of communications.’