Is Andrew Lansley trying to defy the Second Law of Thermodynamics?
Watching the lovely Prof Brian Cox on The Wonders of the Universe I learnt, via the medium of piles of Namibian sand and sandcastles, about entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
Now, I know that only equipped with a B grade in O Level physics, I’m in danger of straying well beyond my pay grade but I can’t help wondering if the Second Law of Thermodynamics has anything to teach us about NHS re-organisations.
Cox explains the concept of Entropy and how a pile of sand has high entropy because whatever you do to it you can’t change its fundamental order i.e. you can pick up and drop billions of grains of sand in trillions of different ways but the pile of sand still remains essentially the same. However, if that sand is made into a sandcastle the increased order and structure makes it very hard to change the object by picking off and dropping bits of the sandcastle’s sand and get it back to exactly the same sandcastle it was before – this, Prof Cox informs me, is called low entropy.
Having witnessed many NHS re-organisations in my time we usually see our complex health system trundling out the other side without much revolutionary change – you might even say that NHS re-organisations are usually evolutionary. This is because the NHS appears to have high entropy.
So, my O-Level Physics question is “are Andrew Lansley’s NHS changes evolutionary as he claims, or is he attempting to defy the Second Law of Thermodynamics by turning the NHS’s high entropy into low entropy”?
Answers on a postcard please…..