Articles

Politics! (oh no!)

In Health industry, Uncategorized on May 7, 2010 by Alan Lovell Tagged: , , , ,

We don’t do politics here at (the) health informaticist of course, as these things can easily fall into ranting, and we don’t, of course, do ranting…

However I thought it at least worthwhile, and safely non-party political, to pass on the observation that the HSJ has made, that apart from the Health Secretary himself Andy Burnham, all of the other Labour health ministers have lost their seats: Health minister Mike O’Brien was ousted from Warwickshire North, Care services minister Phil Hope lost at Corby, and Public health minister Gillian Merron was booted out (just) at Lincoln. The Conservative shadow health team, on the other hand, remains intact: Anne Milton (Guildford), Mike Penning (Hemel Hempstead), Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley (Cambridgeshire), Mark Simmonds (Boston and Skegness), and Stephen O’Brien (Eddisbury).

Also, looking at various reports in the HSJ, it seems to be a trend that wherever a local candidate was able to play the “save our NHS” or “save our hospital” or “save our A&E” etc card succesfully, they did awfully well in the polls. For exampe Alan Campbell won at Tynemouth after “challenging the Tories over leaflets suggesting accident and emergency and other services at North Tyneside General Hospital could be cut if Labour won”, the Lib Dems took one of their target seats, Burnley, after their leader Nick Clegg promised that an A&E centre would be re-opened, while a Conservative, Mr Gummer, won in Ipswich after he opposed unpopular plans for regional reconfiguration. Certainly in my constituency, both the competing parties took great pains to point out how they had “saved” the local hospital.

Whatever else may be said about the shifting, or not so shifting, loyalties of the British electorate, there seems to remain a strong emotional attachment to the NHS. Play that card well, and you’re half-way there…

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