Posts Tagged ‘NHS reform’

We must keep fighting the NHS reforms

19/12/2012, 04:51:46 PM

by Amanda Ramsay

I met with some very interesting campaigners last week in the west country, inspiring me with their tales of victory in overturning moves to privatise eight Stroud NHS community hospitals and health services (including 3,000 nurses and other health workers).

I was at their celebratory social and picked the brains of one of the campaigners, which should help me with my work. The lawyer was there who made their case possible. See for more information.

It is a tale of not accepting the hardships this government is trying to inflict on all who rely on the NHS for free health and social care services whenever they need them, not just now but until the day we all die.

In less than five years this government’s health reforms will no doubt see charges introduced for a GP appointment, maybe even charges to stay in hospital overnight. Yet I cannot recall anyone mentioning this to me on doorstep campaigning for the Labour party, or in social or family circles. People are either unaware of what lies ahead or maybe feel they cannot change things that are already in motion, I really don’t know.

My guess is most people really do not have a clue about these changes, about to become much worse when the government ushers in secondary legislation on competition, licensing and pricing. A clever but insidious way of detaching the marketisation of the NHS from the act itself: it is very difficult to over turn secondary legislation.


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The NHS doesn’t need Tory reorganisation, but it does need reform

12/05/2011, 07:00:43 AM

by Peter Watt

I am furious about the Lansley NHS reforms, but not just because of their well documented failures.  We all know the arguments against them: another top down reorganisation, competition on price not outcome, cherry picking by the private sector and all that. The Tory-Lib Dem government is, of course, engaging in post-May 5 good cop, bad cop role playing in an attempt to dig themselves out of their hole.  I have no doubt that their instinct for survival will lead them to deal with the worst excesses. The Tories, in particular, are rightly terrified of an NHS-led electoral backlash.

But right now, that is not what’s making me so angry. What is making me angry is the real danger that this row will set back the cause of vital NHS reform for years.

Under Labour, the NHS made some significant progress. We introduced choice for patients and gave them statutory rights about what they could expect from the NHS. A variety of suppliers were introduced into the health market and improved commissioning lead to reduced unit costs, greater numbers of treatments, improving health outcomes and shorter waiting times.

And budgets were increased considerably. In fact, you could argue that budgets were increased faster than the reforms could cope with. The result is that there is undoubtedly room for significant efficiency savings.


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