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NHS a ‘brand name’ and oh Tony

In Uncategorized on September 6, 2010 by Danielle Tagged: , ,

I feel utterly disgusted by Tony Blair and his biographical ‘revelations’ that are meant to make us run, salivating to buy a copy of his new book. Freedom of information a bad thing? Gordon Brown useless and you knew it before he took up the reins as Prime Minister? Is it possible for Britain’s smarmy ex-PM to be any more odious? Yes, Tony, you were a mistake, but I didn’t think the NHS was one. Okay- it employs a large number of people, and perhaps a few too many managers. Andrew Lansley is not doing things by half-measures which I intrinsically appreciate. BUT – when I read that PCTs and SHAs have been axed and GPs have been left to sort something out for themselves it felt like April Fools Day. Surprise- instead of money, your employer will now pay you in cheese.

I can’t really go on to what these changes will mean or how they will manifest as it is still a shock and, I suspect, folks with an interest in the UK healthcare system (what shall we call it…) are waiting quietly to hear what will come next.

I don’t think I agree with the following suggestion by Labour MP Grahame Morris (but might be interesting to treat this as a worst case scenario?):

Although the vast majority of GPs will earn most of their money from the National Health Service, they are effectively independent businesses with loose contractual arrangements with the NHS. Therefore, on the face of it, this government is handing billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money straight out of the NHS bank account into the hands of private organisations that will decide what services to provide for patients.

(Sorry – this was a bit political, Alan L)

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2 Responses to “NHS a ‘brand name’ and oh Tony”

  1. Rather than looking at GP commissioning (which actually is a bit of a non-story) have a look at what Lansley intends to do with hospitals. In 5 years time I predict that there will be one new job created, and that will be the person who goes around all the hospitals and paints over the NHS logo.

    ALL hospitals will be taken out of public ownership and public control. Instead of one largely cohesive organisation, there will be 250 which will be prodded by the government with the sharp stick of the Office of Fair Trading, to “compete”. Of course 250 organisations will all have different policies on pay, pensions, working conditions and training. Indeed, Lansley has not yet said how he can justify paying the £350k that it is estimated to cost to train a junior doctor, to a business that is not publicly owned. Or maybe Lansley won’t, pay the £350k for training a junior doctor, that is. Think about it.

  2. *Politics!?*

    Certainly Mr Blair does seem to lack a little in self-awareness. I guess that’s the trouble with power. When you’re surrounded by people telling you how jolly special you are, after a while you might start to believe it yourself.

    I don’t really mind too much if providers are public or private. Most other healthcare western health systems (except the US of course, though even them a bit through medicaid) have a payer/provider split, and they are for the most part as equitable (or inequitable) as the NHS. The provider does not need to be publicly owned for health care to be free at the point of care – you just need to have a national payer, i.e. in this case the government through our taxes.

    However I do agree that the current restructuring is a little hard to get one’s head around. It is a massive experiment involving lots of money, just at a time when we don’t have so much money to play with, and of course no one quite knows how it will turn out; though we all have our hunches. I do think it’s shame to get rid of the PCTs, just as they seemed to be getting on top of commissioning… this year’s World Class Commissioning scores were much improved compared to previous years.

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