Ministers, stop printing league tables and assuming that you’ve earned you money

Sent to Express today (23/11/14)
My training as a Scientist tells me that judgements need to be based on accurate objective measurement and my training in Work Study tells me it is possible to also quantify things in a subjective manner.
In both cases, the numbers are merely the basis for analysis, by a trained mind.
The analysis is then subject to scrutiny, criticism and negotiation by other trained minds, before being presented to Society as trustworthy.
We trust the airlines and authorities to ensure that the planes we fly in and the pilots, in charge, are safe. We don’t ask to see their certificates or number of flying hours, before booking a flight.
When a politician decides to invest in shares, he does not just stick a pin in the paper, or merely look at the share prices. He consults his contacts in business, his contacts in Parliament. He looks at how the competition is faring and the stability of the market but in all cases he is mainly depending on the considered opinions of other’s, whom he trusts.
When it comes to Surgery, for myself, I’ll hope to wake up afterwards, better able to face life.
I’ll hope that my surgeon and his staff were competent and that their professional decisions weren’t confounded by administrative policies.
I’d hope that the Hospital’s administration were keeping an eye on that surgeon’s statistic’s and making informed decisions on his performance based on sound clinical judgement, rather than on how they reflect on the hospital’s image, or its profit and loss margins.
We’ve already seen the damage done by naked exam league tables, in schools.
It’s time Minister’s ceased washing their hands of their responsibilities and reverted to using such data for analysis by their highly paid professionals, so guiding themselve’s in their highly paid function of Ministering their departments.

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