11th August 2016

Dear Leader

The current political narrative on care services is that demand is rising and budgets are threatened. Not a week goes by without more talk to support that point of view. I write to you because this narrative is no more than that – a point of view. I have a different point of view, one that is grounded in evidence.

Demand is rising, but the thing that contributes almost wholly to the rise is what we call ‘failure demand’ – demand cause by a failure to do something or do something right for the customer. To put it at its bluntest: our care services don’t work well for people – that is why demand appears to be ‘rising’. You can find out what the causes of failure demand are in this publication.

As well as explaining why services don’t work very well, we describe how to design care services that actually work. When you do this costs fall dramatically. But that’s not all. The wider consequence of providing services that work is that demand falls. Not only do you wipe out the strangling effect of high failure demand, you learn that fewer people experience problems. Happier people, better families, strengthened communities. Isn’t that what public services ought to be about?

John Seddon, Founder of Vanguard