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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Back slapping

We've all saw it. The upmarket establishment that wants to justify quite why you have to pay them much more for the same product that you could get next door for much cheaper but with no discernible difference in quality. to justify it, a key tenet of their cronyism is back slapping. Let me tell you how it works. In my field, history, I write something of average research standard and I want it to be held in high regard. So what do I do? Well, I get my buddy to cite it in his journal /monograph and so my findings are cross fertilised if you like. If I repeat that exercise with several of my crony pals often enough, hell I could become an authority on the subject.

Private medical provision works the same way. On my way to the cinema the other night I passed a newly opened pharmacist. This wasn't any ordinary pharmacy, this one was "pharmacy of the year". I looked at it for a moment pondering, how could this establishment be pharmacy of the year when it had only just opened? The more I thought about, which was probably ill advised, the more questions arose. Who were the judges? Which area did it cover? How does one enter or be considered for such a prize?

These are questions you might like to ask when you view the Health Investor Awards of 2012. For £3,500, you and nine of your pals can book a table at their awards night and judge for yourself. Now, here' my point. Virgin Care are nominated for two awards and their Assura Property arm a third one (you can view the nominees here). Richard Branson's newly named Virgin Care have been nominated as "primary care provider of the year". Why? How? Where? I'm baffled. What is even more concerning is that Virgin have been nominated as the best "public private partnership" of the year for their contract at Surrey NHS. Now, come off it! The ink is barely dry on the deal, they have not even begun to really deliver on their contractual obligations, how does anyone know what kind of job they are going to do? But that's the point, they don't do they? It's just back slapping. Soon Virgin Care will no longer be Virgin Care. They'll be Award Winning Virgin Care. Now, that sounds much better doesn't it. 

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