Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Which do you prefer..?

So, who do you think is best to make decisions about what is best for patients:

1.  GPs who are seeing patients day-in day-out
2.  Bureaucrats

What is the best option for a failing NHS service:

1.  Keep NHS doctors and nurses and bring in some proven commercial management with a record of providing innovative dynamic management to turn the service around.
2.  Closure and end of provision.
3.  Keep throwing good money after bad.

Of course the answer to both questions from the vast majority of people would be option 1 for both questions. So why all the fuss about Andrew Lansley's NHS changes?

I accept this is very simplistic.  But it does give some necessary down to earth focus on what the proposed changes mean.


  1. It would be wrong to assume that the NHS is one organisation - GPs are independant contractors who employ nurses - NHS Doctors are employed by their NHS trusts not all operate under the same business model

  2. Hello Martin.

    I think the big problem with the Health Reform Bill is that people don't understand it. The NHS is like any other large company or institution in that it has to adapt to changes that happen in its market, and to its consumers – this means from time to time reform is necessary.

    If you ask people what the Bill involves, most will state ‘I don’t know’. The only message that has got through because of its simplicity is the Labour (and to some extent Liberal Democrat) call of “Tories wrecking the NHS”, “Privatising by the back door”. In my opinion this refusal to engage is a real discredit to these two parties.

    Those of us who are proud of NHS have a duty to engage with change. As long as the NHS remains free at the point of use, waiting lists come down, and the standards of real care rise, ideology should not matter.

    Unfortunately, I feel that the Conservatives have allowed this to be painted as a party issue of privatisation and cuts against Labour spending, which it isn’t. They have, at the very least, failed to win the argument here.

    I think there is no option but to press on and push the Bill through, in the hope that the results speak for themselves. As the Tories are unable to continue with the reckless Labour spending rises, the numbers may start to look worse, in which case a watered down Bill may end up in the footnotes of history merely as another failed attempt at much needed NHS reform, with any real improvements concealed by the general economic downturn.

  3. I think those last comments are pretty spot on. The only valid point in ConHome's ludicrous anti-Lansley campaign is that we have failed to communicate the changes in a way that people understand.

    Conhome should focus on trying to fill that gap rather than mount a divisive campaign.