Todays statement about the lack of £350m for the NHS and the consternation it caused got me thinking about what we should be doing and what really matters. I came up with this... 1.1 INTRODUCTION Break the Link between Protection and Stasis: People have this funny notion that protection means stasis – holding a thing in its exact form. This is wrong. Protection of our greatest institutions is not about stasis or status quo – it is about protecting the principles of the thing. Understanding and using this will enable us to break with history and create some truly innovative, but totally dedicated ideas which revolutionize the way we deliver policy in Great Britain. 1.2 RECOGNIZING WHAT WE HAVE In order to do this, we first need to recognize what we have in its true form – both in terms of its constituent elements and in terms of the service it delivers. To take one example… The NHS. Many will tell you this is a Right. It is not. Millions all over the world would dearly love even a fraction of the health care we have, and they would take it for granted a lot less, and value it a lot more, than we do. It is not a right to have comprehensive, free-at-the-point-of-service healthcare, especially when you take it for granted. It is a Privilege. A privilege we should be prepared to work for. Protecting the NHS is not about maintaining it in its current structure and guise but about protecting its values and principles; and answering the question: How can we provide FATPOS healthcare to the masses? And this is just one that galvanizes public emotion, there are many more. We need to recognize that we have some fantastic institutions and some superb ideas and reflect them in our thinking. 1.3 THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MAINTAINING THE STATUS QUO AND PROTECTING OUR INSTITUTIONS This way of thinking can be applied to any institution, practice or policy - stripping it back to its fundamental principles to understand what the point of them is, and thereby enabling us to think about the best solution free of any constraints. From here we can then look to the future – what we need. Applying a systematic approach to understanding the problems through which we can develop the correct solution and not simply follow the political tradition of throwing money at the problem; at every general election that I can remember each party has promised an increase in funds for the NHS but without a clear plan of how to fix the service. The difference between this money-driven approach and assessing the needs at a fundamental level is the difference between maintaining the status quo and really protecting our institutions. 1.4 THE FUTURE OF OUR INSTITUTIONS Our institutions are at a pivotal moment. In order to achieve more than a cosmetic development of our institutions we need to utilize the technologies at our disposal and start to think about building them into the fabric of our institutions rather than retrofit them to existing structures. Retrofitting rarely works perfectly, by defining our solutions in terms of what we need to deliver and the principles they should uphold we can develop dedicated technology-driven solutions which future-proof our institutions for the next generation. Ideally for the one after that as well. If we free ourselves of carrying historical baggage with us, allow ourselves to think creatively and innovatively and focus on delivering the best solution with the best technology and process we have to hand now and what we can conceive and build, we can develop truly exciting and effective policies which deliver exactly what we need, in the manner we want and that is the envy of the world.