Strong words from the break of dawn onwards today following the release of the Parliamentary Health Committee review of public expenditure in health and social care this morning.
The analogy everyone picked up on to describe the reforms was ‘salami slicing’.
From a communications perspective, the use of an analogy we all understand and can visualise – the metronomic, wafer thin, almost transparent cutting of a solid, weighty substance such as salami, is utterly fantastic. It gives you a mental picture, and not a good one.
And the salami has stuck. I Googled the phrase and got over 400 results leading to stories on this report. The Telegraph has the Government salami slicing in care homes to slash care for the elderly. In fact, the Daily Mail feels the same, the salami slicing will hit our ageing population the hardest.
Nurses, midwives, even the odd whistleblower GP on the Huffington Post are all expressing anger at the salami slicing effect.
Andrew Lansley was interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Today show this morning by Justin Webb, and you can listen here. Even he picks up the salami.
The complexities of the proposed NHS reforms and the absolutely crucial role that implementing efficiencies without impeding care for all our citizens plays in the current Government’s defecit clawing measures are incredibly important issues for us all to understand. Who would have thought that a humble salami would be so helpful.