Remember that song? Ok you might be too young but the title is so relevant in our pressured lives where things are reduced to tweet-sized interactions.

Just this week there have been three separate items in the news about the NHS, each focussing on the consequences of too little time available for each patient, in a system suffering from increased demand and limited supply.

Doctors have been warned to avoid 'needless' prescriptions and procedures; conclusions are that with a little more time spent discussing issues we could save the NHS £2 billion down the line. And yet the relentless, annually focussed targets, measured on individual elements of the overall service means that a holistic approach is unlikely.

Research from Oxford University with 3,000 patients provided evidence that those who received more time at the end of a consultation altered their behaviour in terms of reducing obesity. And today's Times carried an article about how a failure to spend more time per patient could result in spiralling legislative damage costs, if patients weren't adequately briefed about all aspects of their procedures taking account of their lifestyle and individual circumstances.

So a lot to keep our health ministers and managers awake at night. 

Over the last 20 years or so it seems that rationing of talk time is an acceptable way to manage tight budgets in just about every area of our lives from customer service interactions through to healthcare.

Indeed, when we asked a young art student to visualise the challenges of customer service in a digital world, one of the graphics was the adapted New York ‘walk /don't walk’ traffic light to ‘talk/don't talk’, in essence a topic at the heart of every strategy decision about what service a brand wants to be known for.

One of our members described demand as flowing water; it will find its way into the organisation and break weak defences; isn't it better to be upfront and have great channels with a steady flow rather than risk floods? 

We have our own issues with demand this week in that CCA Excellence Awards Gala Dinner is sold out! So if you haven’t yet booked your place we are sorry to disappoint but are working to a waiting list only. We do still have some capacity at our Annual Convention so please do join us if you can. View the programme here.