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Editor's blog Wednesday 30 March 2011: Lansley's new top-down target U-turn 10% of NHS community budget for social enterprise

Click here for details of 'Andrew Lansley's Millwall Tendency', via subscription-based Health Policy Intelligence.

I have a solution to the nation's financial woes. A tax on health policy U-turns would see the UK's deficit wiped out much sooner.

See? I can do constructive.

This morning's dose of Through The Policy Looking Glass And What Andrew Found There saw Our Saviour And Liberator Andrew Lansley tell the Social Enterprise event at the Kings Fund that 10% of the NHS budget will be delivered by social enterprise.

Shall I have a little swear?

Yes. I think I shall have a little swear.

Oh, for fuck's sake.

Three reasons why the Health Secretary deciding that 10% of the NHS community budget should be spent by social enterprise is a bad idea
1. Where is the evidence that 10% is the right amount of the NHS community budget for social enterprise to deliver? As opposed to 11%? Or 9%, 23% or 57%? This is Nice Round Number Syndrome - a certain sign of a cack policy.

2. We are supposed to be in the post-bureaucratic., commissioning-driven age. Top-own targets, like ... ooh, 10% of the NHS community budget being delivered by social enterprise are not in the policy script. Until you just hastily rewrote it on the fly.

3. Government's record of picking winners is something in which Conservative politicians don't believe.

I'm sure I should put in a disclaimer here about social enterprise being a really good thing. I'm sure some social enterprises may indeed be really good things. And that being the case, social enterprises should be formed by enthusiasts and believers, and appointed or commissioned on their merits and strengths.

What is being proposed here by a Conservative Secretary Of State For Health is that he knows better than the 'social market' what level of activity is appropriately delivered by which kind of commissioner and provider.

Which makes absolutely no sense at all.