Tuesday, June 14, 2011

UK Ministers accept wholesale changes to NHS plans after review, Andrew Lansley gets Cameron’s backing in public after his policy disaster cock up!

Dear All

For some time, I have been blogging that the government has to stop its controversial NHS reforms in England.

This is because the changes proposed are so radical that they haven’t carried the medical profession with them.

The entire thing needs a re-write but more than that, it has to be taken offline until, the problems are fixed.

When the Tories gained power via coalition, they charged in like a bull in a china shop and everything came unstuck more or less immediately.

Andrew Lansley was left high and dry, and despite people saying they support him, that is ‘public’ support not private.

David Cameron said ministers had listened to fears about increased competition and more powers for GPs and would now slow the pace of change.

This is a political decision but Cameron needs to go further, the entire project needs to go offline.

The Lib Dems who are struggling in the polls need some victories and have opposed aspects of the bill with leader Nick Clegg said their demands had been "handsomely met".

He said ministers made "no apology" for pausing to "get things right".

Clegg is an opportunist and if an election was called tomorrow, he might find himself out on the street.

He is despised.

At a joint press conference with his deputy Nick Clegg and Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, Mr Cameron said those who described the revisions as "a humiliating U-turn", or the listening exercise as "a big PR stunt", were both wrong”.


"The fundamentals of our plans - more control to patients, more power to doctors and nurses, less bureaucracy in the NHS - they are as strong today as they've ever been."


Ed Miliband, who is turning into a serial whiner said:

David Cameron should never have rushed into reforms that weren't properly thought through”

On Monday following a 10-week "listening exercise", a panel of experts called the NHS Future Forum gave its recommendations on the changes needed to the bill, which applies to England only.

They include:

Reinstating the legal responsibility of the health secretary for the overall performance of the NHS

Scrapping the primary role of the regulator, Monitor, to promote competition - and focusing on improving patient choice instead

Relaxing the 2013 deadline for the new GP commissioning arrangements to be introduced

Strengthening the power of health and well-being boards, which are being set up by councils, to oversee commissioning and giving patients a greater role on them

Retaining a lead role for GPs in decision-making, but boosting the role of other professionals such as hospital doctors and nurses alongside them

These are not small changes; these are holes that would sink the Titanic.

The review team has made clear there are "genuine and deep-seated" concerns.

I would think that given the scope and direction of travel that pilots would have been established so that relevant feedback would be available to make informed choices.

Because people are talking about how greater clarity was needed.

Andrew Lansley has faced personal criticism for his inability to garner widespread support for the original bill, but the prime minister said he accepted full responsibility for what had happened.

"I am every bit as responsible as Andrew Lansley for the fact that we actually decided we could improve on what we already put forward. I do not attempt in any way to pass the blame to anybody else."

This means that Lansley is in serious trouble politically.

Why didn’t we have a real listening exercise before?

That is a question!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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