Sunday, 16 January 2011

Save the NHS

I've written so much about the disastrous reorganisation plan of Andrew Lansley that it has its own section on here, but yet more misery has been piled on the Health Secretary as yet another big voice in health care has come out against him. This time it's the NHS Confederation, which encompasses the RCGP, the BMA and the Faculty of Public Health.

The voices expressing doubt about the reforms are getting ever louder, with the latest report calling the reform 'extremely risky', and warning it will mean the closure of hospitals and the reduction of NHS care. Rarely is the NHS as united as it currently is against these reforms, yet still he pushes them through without even a glance at the ever-growing list of detractors.

The problem facing those who criticise the reforms is that they are already being implemented, it is not something that will come down to a single vote as was the case with tuition fees. GP's are already taking over commissioning responsibility, and unless the campaign applies some serious pressure these reforms could be pushed through by stealth before anyone has a chance to oppose them.

The next big sting for Lansley is likely to come on Tuesday, when a Health Select committee will report on the reforms, and the whispers are that they aren't exactly providing a ringing endorsement. How much longer can Lansley really keep going in the face of so much criticism? Word is that Cameron is now casting a personal eye over the reforms after they've picked up such criticism, and Tory bloggers seem to think Lansley is one of the most likely to be moved on in the next cabinet reshuffle. But by then, it may be too late.

That's why campaigns that have started up, by the like of 38 degrees, need to start being much more aggresive in speaking out, and need to do so quickly.


richard.blogger said...

We need to fight as hard as we can to stop these disastrous plans. Great site. It's a pity I didn't find it sooner, I've been blogging on the Conservative plans for the NHS for a year now, and at times it has felt quite lonely feeling like I was the only person to see the threat to our NHS.

This bill will take a year to get through Parliament. The problem (as you say) GP commissioning has already been implemented, but amendments could be made during the passage of the bill to curtail the worst aspects.

My concern is the plan to remove all responsibility for healthcare provision from the Secretary of State (in effect, make every hospital trust a private not-for-profit business subject to market conditions). I think there is a real possibility to block this especially if (as expected) there is a mass cull of Tory councillors in May. If we can make sure that the NHS is the hot topic on the doorstep, and that failed Tory candidates blame Lansley for their demise, we may get Cameron to put the NHS bill on hold.

Good luck in your exams.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic blog Chris. Thanks very much for supporting the NHS.
Jonathon Tomlinson
GP Hackney

Chris said...

Thanks guys, sorry it took so long for these comments to come up on the site, for some reason they got stuck in my spam filter.

We need to make sure that this topic stays top of the agenda, so that even if we can only curtail the worst aspects, come the next election people will remember why they can't trust the NHS in the hands of the Tories, and indeed the Lib Dems these days.