Hot Topics


  Toneman 19:22 07 Jun 2011

The PM talks about controlling "competition" and then says there will be no privatisation, where is the "competition" coming from then? I don't follow...

  natdoor 11:23 08 Jun 2011

It seems, judging by the lack of response, that many are as perplexed as you. I am surprised that one particular individual has not held forth on this topic.

It is my understanding that at the moment, private companies provide NHS treatment. This was initially to combat long waiting lists and presumably the PCT bought specific services on an as-required basis. So the NHS controlled when private facilities should be used. This is altogether different from having private companies able to compete for providing treatments on a cost basis. Assuming they could undercut NHS services, this could lead to closure af NHS facilities. Once the private comany has a local monopoly, charges would be uncontrollable (look at privatised utilities, who are supposed to compete but follow like sheep when one company raises prices). Presumably he is now saying that this will not be permitted.

Anyway, this is how I see it. I suspect that Cameron doesn't understand what he's talking about. He has been operating in a hands-off chairman position and allowed ministers to develope policies in isolation, nearly all of which have had to have been reversed. He is now trying to play catch-up. He is struggling with policies which are vehemently supportd by the hard-core right and which he has been advised will result in an electoral backlash.

  Toneman 14:01 08 Jun 2011

natdoor You have put my thoughts better than I could myself! I had in mind what has happened to our utility services and is happening to Local Government. When will the powers that be see that private suppliers are not in it for love?

  johndrew 15:18 08 Jun 2011

Could it be that there is insufficient information in the public domain as yet for anyone to be able to accurately comment on the full proposals?

Thinking about options I can see several; some of them would fit the bill of 'controlled competition', others would not. However, I think the intention is to offer the possibility of private health facilities the ability to competitively quote for some work which would otherwise be carried out by the NHS. The 'control', presumably, would be the type, volume, cost and geographical location(s) of the work offered.

Guess we shall need to wait for the full proposal to find out though.

  oresome 15:59 08 Jun 2011

The NHS is a gigantic organisation undertaking complex processes which I don't pretend to understand.

However, one or two things are clear.

The NHS has had a lot of money put in it during the Labour years, but outcomes for the patient have not improved to the same extent.

Large monopolies seldom if ever put the customer first and tend to be run largely for the benefit of those working in them.

The population is ageing, which will result in increased healthcare costs and diminishing tax revenues to pay for it.

For all our sakes, the NHS has to be made efficient and costs controlled. I can't see this happening without an element of competition to provide the motivation.

  Forum Editor 17:58 08 Jun 2011

There has inevitably been a lot of discussion and analysis in the media about what the government intends to do (or not to do) with the NHS, but for me the most interesting comment of all was made by a senior NHS administrator when he said that the reason so many of us find it difficult to make a judgement about the government proposals is because we don't really understand how the NHS is run at the moment.

We can't decide what we think about changes because we don't know what happens now.

I have to say, that more or less sums up my position. I think I know a little about the structure and functions of the NHS, but it's so vast, and so complex that I realise I'm not qualified to judge - I can only comment from the point of view of being an NHS customer. I see the organisation as most of you see it - at the point of delivery of its services.

We all have stories to tell - both good and bad - about the NHS, but perhaps if we took time to stand back and look at it through slightly different eyes we might come to understand that it actually works pretty well. It has certainly been largely responsible for the health of the nation over a generation, and is the envy of many other countries - America included.

Undoubtedly there must be ways to improve what we have, and certainly there must be economies to be made, but in terms of 'Medical services for all, free at the point of delivery' it seems to me to fulfil the expectations of the vast majority.

  Forum Editor 18:06 08 Jun 2011

john 52

Speculating about why other people do or do not take part in a discussion doesn't really achieve anything, and neither does making assumptions about how I'll react to your opinions. There's no forum censorship, other than that which results from people breaking the rules.

Suggesting that " members are not wishing to comment on this subject because of the reaction from certain members" is really pointless and distracting speculation. We can manage well enough without it, I think.

  john bunyan 19:10 08 Jun 2011

I have experienced the medical situation in a few EU countries, and ours is , in my view, about average. There are different funding regiemes , but to the end user the costs seem little different as a percentage of salary. I lived in the Netherlands for 10 years, and the system was very fair , plenty of choice with no queue jumping by extra payments and a low level of MRSA and infant mortality; hospital beds steam sterilised between patients etc. We could learn a lot by copying best practice from places like Holland. (Not USA where the costs are horrendous and where very poor people often cannot afford even basic medical care) I think that the last government were not insistent enough that the extra cash had to be matched by productivity - eg General practioners salaries vastly increased with much lower working hours (no weekends or night call outs except from agencies etc)

  oresome 19:13 08 Jun 2011


"An Independent Audit of the NHS under Labour (1997–2005) by The King's Fund"


Overall, in our view, the results of this audit are very positive. The ambition for the NHS has been appropriately high. There has been unprecedented investment. There have been significant improvements in most areas that the Government has focused policies on. Has there been a ‘step-change’ in NHS performance? If step-change means a significant shift of gear, with more and better services, then yes there has.

However, the NHS as a whole has not yet been transformed. There are still important problems to be solved and *there is as yet no firm evidence to show that Labour’s reforms have produced a marked difference in health outcomes*.

While much of the improvement in the NHS that we describe has been achieved through central fiat and targets, it is too early to predict whether the more recently introduced tools to lever up performance – greater use of market incentives and regulation – will achieve the desired transformation.

  bremner 19:15 08 Jun 2011


I had had very little experience of the NHS outside of my own GP for many years. In the last 12 months I have had an issue with my knee cartilage. I have had a very disappointing experience of doctors here in the South West who simply did not believe that an operation had in fact made the problem worse. It has taken 12 months to get them to perform another operation which I am now hoping has remedied the problem.

I very much felt I was not treated as an individual but that a "one size fits all" process was in place.

My daughter recently fell and broke her collarbone. Five hours in a grim A&E showed everything wrong with the NHS, overworked, stressed staff, both clerical and medical, in poor, dirty buildings. She was then referred to another hospital fracture clinic in the South East where she is studying who have been awful. A doctors who gave her the worst possible instruction to remove her sling after two weeks that has resulted in very little healing after 10 weeks and the distinct possibility of an operation and a further twelve weeks recovery. A apology was forthcoming from a senior doctor and a promise that the staff member responsible would receive 'suitable' training'.

My brother in law in the North East woke with stomach pains, went to his GP who said he must go to hospital as he suspected appendicitis, he was told to go home and an ambulance would collect him. 5 hours later it arrived getting him into hospital around tea time. He was left for another 4 hours during which his appendix burst causing peritonitis. He was in for 3 weeks instead of 4 days. After his surgery the only bed they could find was on an orthopedics ward where no doctor attended him for 3 days until his wife went ballistic and got him moved.

Please don't tell me the NHS is not in urgent and desperate need of reform. For every good story there appears to be a bad one.

What is needed is a sensible cross party solution that listens to all sides but of course I am not holding my breath for that to happen.

  natdoor 20:55 08 Jun 2011

fourm member

"Cameron has announced that he is not going to do something that he never was going to do in the first place". "...the 'listening exercise' that a lot of people condemned as being cosmetic and not 'real' has resulted in changes to the policy".

Do you not see a contradiction between your two statements?

The 'listening exercise' has been potrayed as a positive thing. In my view, this degree of research and consultatuion shoould be undertaken before a bill is put before parliament. It demonstrates gross incompetency which, if occurring in industry would result in dismissal.

With regard to the assertion that there was never an intention to allow private hospitals to compete full-on with the NHS, I refer you to Mark Britnell, an advisor to the government on tex1

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

1x1 pixel
Elsewhere on IDG sites

Realme X50 5G lands in the UK and Europe for £299/€349

AMD and Lenovo have created the world’s first 64-core workstation

iPhone 12 series could have smaller batteries

Bon Plan Amazon : 46 % de réduction sur le bracelet HONOR Band 5