It is not very often that we read a positive account of public consultation helping to deliver welcome change. And rarer still to hear of such things at the interface between health and social care.
Dr Dhesi and his colleagues at NHS North Norfolk CCG are to be congratulated on listening to - and acting on - suggestions received from consultees.
Hats off, too, to the flexible folks at Norfolk County Council who not only devised a way to save previously threatened beds and relieve hospital services already stretched tighter than a drum skin, but managed to slot their new world solution into the existing landscape as well.
Too often those charged with change management - in whichever field you care to mention - view public consultation as an inconvenient obstacle to their plans. They consider themselves omnipotent and discount the possibility that the general public - who after all use the relevant services already, and will continue to do so after any change - might have something valuable to contribute.
Fortunately, though, the Courts recently confirmed that consultation is not just a technocratic procedural protection. Rather, it serves to vindicate a fundamental democratic right, given to us all, to help shape the things that affect us.
Here's hoping then for many more examples in the future of the Dhesi Doctrine!
Dr Anoop Dhesi, Chair of NHS North Norfolk CCG, said: “Our public consultation allowed us to listen to the thoughts and views of the public and we are very grateful to all those who responded and gave us such valuable insights. “We are very pleased that a further idea was proposed by our colleagues at Norfolk County Council. Using the beds for re-ablement will still help reduce pressure on hospitals and dovetail with our Supported Care service.”