Why privatise the NHS?

A pretty good summary of the risks of privatising the NHS from a colleague.

“I have just watched a report of todays proceedings. After comments on Andy Burnham’s evidence a member of the Stafford Hospital Campaign sumed up well. “These politicians are living in a bubble”
The last “big idea” for reform – was targets. Except that the politicians forgot that the purpose of a hospital is to save lives and missed it out as the primary target.

These Landsley reforms will be no different.
NHS staff are not capable of writing a contract for cleaning. When the public visit a relative or friend they see dirty floors in wards. It also seems impossible for the NHS managers to provide food that patients are happy to eat. That we as a visitors, if we see it, would be happy to eat. They can not arrange for patients to be given basic nutrition and not suffer from dehydration while in their care. They have not yet mastered cleaning and catering.
The public cares about this.

Mr Lansley thinks these staff will be able to write contracts to provide medical treatment ?
That has been tried before. I live in the PCT area next to the Stafford Hospital. The Private Midland Treatment Centre in my home town was set up and run by an American company. It “failed to work”. It was passed to another private company. It “failed” again. Now it has been “nationalised” by my local PCT at a cost of £1m + to the local budget. Private companies want to make a profit, that is the nature of their business. If they can not do so they walk away and leave a mess behind to be cleaned up at public expense.
The public does not understand all this, or why it is happening, or how it is supposed to help. And nor do I. Just more politicians in a bubble.

I do know that only a fool does not learn from mistakes. This time bottom up reform should be given a chance. Why not listen to the doctors and nurses who work in the NHS?

Why would our MPs want to vote for these Lansley proposals?
They are not in the coalition agreement they do not have to.

Reform of the NHS is needed. But not these reforms.

Hugh Warner”

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