- Conservative election poster 2010
A few recent news articles about the UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat(Conservative) coalition government – the ConDem’s – brutal attack on the National Health Service.
The Con-Dem government yesterday announced that the cabinet had vetoed publication of the transitional risk-register about dangers to the NHS from the Health and Social Care / Destroy the NHS Bill.
Andrew Lansley claimed to be “… a firm believer in greater transparency …” but not in this instance. A more realistic assessment is that Lansley and the Con-Dem government has evaded publication of the risk-register at every opportunity and that they are desperate that it should not be published since it illustrates that they have been reckless and consitently lied about their intentions for the NHS. “No more top-down reorganisation”, “I’ll cut the defecit, not the NHS”, “I love the NHS”, “… it is not privatisation”. All bollocks.
An earlier draft risk-register has been leaked. It clearly shows that the government has been reckless with the NHS and strongly suggests that the intention all along was to destroy it.
Identifying 43 separate areas of potential risk, the draft register rates each on a scale of one to five, where a rating of one means little likelihood and very low impact and five means almost certain to occur and very high impact. The likelihood and impact figures are combined to give an overall risk rating, with a maximum score of 25.
Among 13 areas given a risk rating of 16 – with likelihood and impact each assessed at four out of five – were: Parliamentary amendments creating “unforeseen consequences for the system”; costs being driven up by GP consortia using private sector organisations and staff; implementation beginning before adequate planning has been done; loss of financial control; “unhelpful conflict” between the NHS commissioning board and regulator Monitor; GP consortia going bust or having to cut services for financial reasons; GP leaders being drawn into managerial processes which end up driving clinical behaviour.
Staff concerns and union action over the reforms could lead to “deterioration in relations, lower productivity in the Department of Health/NHS and delays in programme”, the document said. And there was a warning that strategic health authorities and primary care trusts might lose “good people” who then have to be re-employed to run the new system.