By Jonathan Todd
Labour’s compassion built the NHS under Attlee and Labour’s investment saved the NHS under Blair and Brown. But it is Labour reform that has kept Cumbria’s community hospitals open and achieved better health outcomes in so doing. These successes are now threatened by Tory incompetence.
Gerry Robinson, the management guru who once tried to “fix the NHS”, bemoaned the lack of piloting contained in Andrew Lansley’s NHS plan on the Today programme last year. The presenter (Evan Davis, as I recall) then misdirected him towards Cumbria. While Cumbria may have much GP commissioning, it has benefitted from Labour reform, not opened a window on Lansley’s future.
The Financial Times reports that Cumbria offers “a glimpse into what the … government’s healthcare revolution could look like”. It may be that Lansley’s spinners have been whispering in the ears of Davis and the Financial Times, but Cumbria isn’t the first domino to fall in Lansley’s revolution. It is benefitting from a flowering of reform championed by Lord Darzi and patiently cultivated by NHS workers. Evolution would have meant more such reform, not a “grenade tossed into the PCTs”. (more…)