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Tuesday, 4 October 2011

NHS Insiders Defend their Patch

Who could be surprised that hundreds of insiders to the NHS, all on comfortable incomes, should challenge the government's proposed changes in the organisation of the Service? The mass letter to the House of Lords, publicised today [when the government proposals go to the Lords], brings together the scare stories that have been coming out over recent months.
It is a pity that this looks such a self-interested move: because I am one of the many whose reservations about Andrew Lansley's proposals increase the more we know about them.
The NHS is notoriously inefficient, and the triumph of managerialism has been deeply regressive - as well as expensive - in terms of patient care. But I would much prefer to see 'competition' in the removal of tiers of management, with massively more authority passed to clinicians, than 'competition' in the form of bureaucratic empires within the NHS pitted against foreign for-profit companies running the hospitals.
The risk of creating huge gaps in universal provision by the NHS is clearly not properly comprehended by the Secretary of State, despite the many years he has supposedly been grappling with these issues.

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