East London GP Jonathon Tomlinson continues our series on alternative ideas as to how public services should be run.
The Government’s intention to privatise the NHS continues unabated after a so-called pause and ‘listening exercise’.
Most importantly, the secretary of state for health’s duty – enshrined in the NHS since 1948 – ‘to provide and secure the effective provision of services’ has been delegated to an unaccountable quango called the NHS Commissioning Board. Entitlement to a comprehensive range of NHS services will no longer be guaranteed by government.
The other significant non-change after the pause is the role of competition which was widely reported to have been watered down, but emerges intact and probably even more central than before, with the Competition and Cooperation Panel (CCP) taking on the role of preventing anti-competitive behaviour. They have made it clear that they regard existing NHS hospitals as ‘vested interests’ and that competition is an unmitigated good. Continue reading “NHS: privatisation or reform?”