Sir Roger Boyle, the UK’s former National Director for Heart Disease and Stroke criticises Andrew Lansley’s plan to abolish the National Health Service.
“Competion means more providers, which means more contracts have to be placed which means transactional costs rise. The allegiances [of the private companies] will be to their shareolders not to the users of the services. We have already spent £1billion on redundancy payments. Is that value for money?”
“If the market was going to work the Americans would have cracked it. My 91 year old American mother in law (who lives in Florida) has to fill in a 150 page form each year for her health insurance and then more forms each time she makes a claim.”
“I favour evolution, not revolution.We could have got to the same point without this huge disruption. Everything has effectively stopped [while the reforms are thrashed out] except the focus on saving cash – it is very unsettling.”
A petition for GPs and GPs battling against hugely rising costs.
- Conservative election poster 2010
A few recent news articles concerning the UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat coalition government – the ConDem’s – brutal attack on the National Health Service.
When Andrew Lansley was appointed to the cabinet by David Cameron in May 2010 you might have expected the new health secretary to take the trouble to introduce himself to the leading players in his department. But no – his first meeting with Sir Roger Boyle, who had been toiling away as the Government’s National Director for Heart Disease and Stroke for more than a decade, did not come until a couple of weeks ago, for what Boyle describes as a “decapitation.”
The heart czar had given a speech in which he described Lansley’s claim that the NHS was over managed as “complete baloney”. He had critcised the NHS reform strategy of throwing out the old and bringing in the new “without even looking at things that have worked well,” and had warned about the dangers of dismantling relationships nurtured over years and destroying “corporate memory.”
A day or two later he appeared on the Today programme to re-iterate his criticisms, expressing the widely held view that what the NHS needs now is “stability not more change.”
Lansley was not pleased. Boyle described what happened. “Miraculously, I found myself in his office. His aides were debating whether they could sack me before they discovered I was going anyway. Lansley said he was disappointed I had gone public without telling him. Which is fair dos except he could have found out if he had bothered to see me. It was a short meeting. I had my knuckles rapped.”
It is a pity Lansley had not made more effort to find out what Boyle was up to because he would have learnt some important lessons about the NHS and what it had achieved without the benefit of the market revolution being ushered in under the NHS reforms.
During his 11 years in post – Boyle retired on Friday – the death rate from heart disease has halved. Waiting times for treatment have been slashed. There are more surgeons, more patients on drugs (for blood pressure and cholesterol), better equipped units,and around 60,000 lives saved each year – half from changes in lifestyle (such as reduced smoking) and half from improvements in treatment. Not a bad record on which to bow out.
The scale of the advance has been so great that the NHS has had to cut back on training posts for heart surgeons because there will not be enough work for them to do in the future. As well as improved health, the NHS is starting to save money.
But Lansley was not keen to trumpet this success. And Boyle thinks he knows why – it does not play to the Health Secretary’s agenda which is to dismiss everything done before his time in order to bolster support for the revolution he has meticulously planned to open up the NHS market and subject it to more competition.
Thousands of England’s GPs can express their dissatisfaction at the government’s Health and Social Care bill by signing a new petition calling for the bill’s withdrawal.
The government is claiming that because GPs have signed up to Clinical Commissioning Groups (formerly GP Consortia), they are supportive of the bill and this new model of health care delivery.
The petition is designed to counter this claim and to tell government that GPs have signed up in order to protect their patients’ interests, but are not supportive of the proposed reorganisation of the NHS.
The petition was launched today (Monday 25 July) by the Medical Practitioners’ Union (MPU) and is targeted at GP members of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and members of practices that are members of CCGs.
The petition supports the British Medical Association’s (BMA) policy that the bill should be withdrawn.
But adds: ”If the bill is not withdrawn, we demand that the government allows full and proper scrutiny of the entire bill and the amendments to it.
”If the bill is not withdrawn, the entire bill with amendments should be recommitted and its committee stage extended.“
GPC negotiator Dr Peter Holden warned that a failure to tackle rising expenses would force practices out of business and ultimately leave the NHS facing far higher costs.
He said the issue had become the number one priority for GP negotiators.
‘We are where we were in the 1970s,’ he warned. ‘We are in a scenario where rising expenses are not being met, but are eating into what we already have. Sooner or later that pressure cooker will blow up.’
Dr Holden’s comments came as a poll revealed a 22.8% rise in costs for small businesses over the last five years. The rise outstripped the rise in inflation as measured by the consumer price index, which totalled 19.4% over the same period, according to the poll by small business savings advisors Make It Cheaper and the Centre for Economic and Business Research.
A total of 48% of GP, vetinary and dental practices warned that they could go out of business if nothing was done to address the imbalance between rising costs and income.
27/11/13 Having received a takedown notice from the Independent newspaper for a different posting, I have reviewed this article which links to an article at the Independent’s website in order to attempt to ensure conformance with copyright laws.
I consider this posting to comply with copyright laws since
a. Only a small portion of the original article has been quoted satisfying the fair use criteria, and / or
b. This posting satisfies the requirements of a derivative work.
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