Notes to editors
- The report will be formally launched at a breakfast discussion event on 16 July at the King’s Fund. Speakers will include King’s Fund chief executive Niall Dickson, Monitor’s chairman William Moyes, Nuffield Hospital’s chief executive David Mobbs, and report co-author Laurie McMahon. Media are invited to attend.
- Windmill 2007 is named after the 'Rubber Windmill', a simulation process developed in 1990 by Laurie McMahon and others at the Office for Public Management for East Anglian Regional Health Authority to explore how the health service was responding to the internal market being developed at the time. The Windmill approach is a way of looking at the future that is ‘soft’ rather than 'hard' because it relies on using the combined experience and judgement of real players in the system rather than by extrapolating quantitative data. It is particularly useful with complex social systems where there are a large number of contradictory forces at work. The original Rubber Windmill produced some key findings that influenced the 1990 reforms. The event and its outcomes have, in effect, passed into the folklore of the NHS, and smaller versions of the simulation event have been used over the years to model the impact of new policies or initiatives. But a large-scale, whole-system simulation has not been undertaken since 1990.
- The Windmill 2007 project team included Laurie McMahon and Sarah Harvey of Loop2; Alasdair Liddell, King’s Fund Senior Associate and commissioner of the original Rubber Windmill in 1990 while chief executive of East Anglian Regional Health Authority; and John Appleby, chief economist at the King’s Fund.
- The King’s Fund is an independent charitable foundation working for better health, especially in London. We carry out research, policy analysis and development activities, working on our own, in partnerships, and through funding. We are a major resource to people working in health and social care, offering leadership development programmes; conferences, seminars and workshops; publications; information and library services; and conference and meeting facilities.
- Monitor authorises and regulates NHS foundation trusts ensuring they are well managed and financially strong in order to deliver high-quality health care for patients. It was established in January 2004. It is independent of government and accountable to Parliament. Monitor’s functions and powers are set out in the National Health Service Act 2006.
- Nuffield Hospitals is the UK's largest not-for-profit hospital group and one of the UK's largest charities. The organisation offers a broad range of services from its 40 hospitals (39 of them in England and one in Scotland). Additionally, Nuffield owns and runs Vanguard Healthcare, Europe's only fleet of fully equipped mobile hospitals, and Nuffield Proactive Health, providing health, vitality and wellness services for employees in their place of work.
- For further information or interviews, please contact the King’s Fund media and public relations office on 020 7307 2585, 020 7307 2632 or 020 7307 2581. An ISDN line is available for interviews on 020 7637 0185.