The best NHS reform criticism on the web

For timely updates see the Keep Our NHS Public News roundup and the excellent Open Democracy Our NHS website

and subscribe to Roy Lilley’s blog.

List of: Professional organisations opposing the Health Bill




Old news.


A eulogy to the NHS: What happened to the world my generation built?

In 1926, Harry Leslie Smith’s sister died of TB in a workhouse infirmary, too poor for proper medical care. In 1948, the creation of the NHS put a stop to all that. In an extract from his new book, Harry’s Last Stand, he describes his despair at the coalition’s dismantling of the welfare state


Betrayals of the NHS must end, it’s time for doctors to fight back. Jacky Davis Guardian


Shocking report of poor care from Hitchingbrooke, the first privately managed NHS hospital Guardian comment from HeronsFlight 9:09

The Latest Casualty of Health Reform: Casualty Allyson Pollock Guardian

Crunch Time Looms as experts and medical professionals speak out against NHS privatisation regulations. Open Democracy

Healthcare: The New American Sadism. NY Times blogs

Fairness and the politics of resentment. 


Where is the Spirit of ’45 in 2013? A terrific blog by an NHS lung specialist about what being able to offer free healthcare means to her and her patients.


NHS Reforms: From Today the Coalition has put the NHS up for grabs. Max Pemberton. Telegraph

Farewell to the NHS 1948-2013: A dear and trusted friend, finally murdered by tory ideologues. Owen Jones, Independent

Health Act means the end of the NHS as we know it. Youssef El Gingihy. Guardian

This latest cure for the NHS could really kill the patient. Polly Toynbee. Guardian

What’s good about the NHS and why it matters who provides the service. Allyson Pollock

The Lies we Tell Ourselves: Ending Comfortable Myths about Poverty. Churches working together

Last Wednesday the Department of Health quietly released regulations [1] that open up England’s National Heath Service to competition on an unprecedented scale. Open Democracy


Greenwich LINk response to the Securing Sustainable NHS Services consultation The future of SLHT. with comments from Lucy Reynolds


Lord Ashcroft: Anti-NHS Bill candidates would boost the conservative party Conservative Home

Response to Lord Ashcroft by Clive Peedell Bevansrun


The BBC & the health bill: Director general, Lord Patten’s voting record on the health bill: & his private healthcare business interests

The Treasury has clawed back half a billion pounds that was allocated for health spending this year, prompting fears that the punishing NHS savings drive will go towards “general deficit reduction. HSJ

The Fight for our NHS goes on. Red Pepper

More unjustified claims from the department of Healthspin

A good day to bury a bad bill. Badmed


Lord Patten, the current head of the BBC has direct links to a company heavily involved in private healthcare Social Investigations

Private sector outsourcing giant Serco has been selected as preferred bidder to take over nearly all NHS community services in Suffolk in a deal worth £140m to the company over three years HSJ

If the LibDems had killed the bill, Cameron would have punished them by appointing a Lib Dem health secretary. New Statesman

McKinsey plotted private takeover of NHS hospitals days before the Health Bill became law. Green Benches. Emails between McKinsey & the DH

Beyond the Bill: will the Health and Social Care Act ever be repealed? the most contested and disputed part – Part 3 – of the Health and Social Care Act is I think the most irreversible MHP blog

A Drum Beat on Profit Takers. Arnold Relman and Marcia Angell on the Medical Industrial Complex NY Times

Greek Hospital seized and run by workers in response to crisis.


Is the Health and Social Care Bill the end of a 20 years war? MHP blogs

Consipracy. Are minimum nurse to patient ratios necessary? Roy Lilley

How MPs voted on the Health bill. Going to Work

NHS Activism What you can do. NHS Vault

What do we do now the Health bill looks like becoming law? Ian Greener


Balancing the risks shouldn’t stop us taking the medicine. Dr Sarah Wollaston MP blog. (My comment after post)

NHS 1948-2012 Killed by the Coalition. Mirror front page.

How on earth did the Health Bill ever get passed? MPH blog.


20 candlelit vigils tonight at 8pm

The cost-effectiveness of public health interventions. The majority assessed were highly cost effective. Journal of Public Health

Short post: On healthcare professionals’ threat to stand in next election. Dragon’s best friend

The coalition’s health reforms could lead to the NHS ceasing to provide key services and may make tragedies like the death of Baby P harder to prevent. Guardian.

Legal concerns over privatisation of NHS commissioning FTimes

Private healthcare patients stand to benefit from taxpayer subsidies of private care FTimes

Patients need a doctor, not someone whose primary consideration is to satisfy them. Nuanced look at the difference between the care we want & the care we need. Science based medicine.

The economics of choice. Lessons from the US healthcare market. The risks to elderly, vulnerable patients of market choice in healthcare.


The government has lied and sold the public a pup over the idea that patients will be able to challenge doctors and hospitals over treatments, according to Labour’s health team. In “unusually unparliamentary language” Lady Thornton, Labour’s health spokeswoman in the Lords, said the bill was a triumph for Tory ministers who had seen Liberal Demo. Guardian.

The future of the NHS? Cough up fleshbags Charlie Brooker, Guardian.

While in public they have been presenting themselves as the future of the NHS, a Corporate Watch investigation into the accounts and finances of five of the major private healthcare companies has found widespread use of tax havens,* including the British Virgin Islands, Luxembourg, Jersey, Guernsey and the Cayman Islands, and tax avoidance schemes Barclays or Vodafone accountants would be proud of. Corporate watch

An unprecedented coalition of nearly 250 doctors launches a campaign today to unseat liberal democrat & conservative MPs at the next election in revenge for their backing of the Health Bill. Independent on Sunday

The professional case for opposing the Health Bill. Video feat. Allyson Pollock (12mins)

Commercial confidentiality trumps public right to know in new NHS healthcare market. Open Democracy

Public Health risk register. Risk-assessment-Bill-FINAL copy


Competition-Based Reform of the National Health Service in England: A One-Way Street? Social Science Research Network

Devon is wrong to farm out children’s health to the private sector, which segments risk and only picks up that which is profitable Guardian

Hinchingbrooke Hospital Takeover Shows Why “Commercial Confidentiality” Remains Key Issue for the Health bill Public Health for the NHS

Association between low functional health literacy and mortality in older adults: longitudinal cohort study BMJ Important article because over 30% of older adults have low health literacy, which explains why the emphasis on ‘patient choice’ threatens to increase health inequalities


Government Forced to Bail Out Private Health Firm
The Guardian, Tuesday 26th August 2014 (comment)

So why do I think the Government is using the full decade of data? It’s because the oldest data makes their claim look the least dodgy Just another bleeding blog

NHS reform in England. Where is the public interest? David Hunter BMJ

The healthbill will put commissioning of anything bigger than a verruca out of a GP’s reach. Roy Lilley. Note: Lilley says: ” The Beast’s masterpiece is the Commissioning Support Service organisations. They are not in the Bill, have no statutory authority or position. They are not a Lala Creation. They are a Big- beast chimera.” This statement is wrong. They are a Lansley creation. A key purpose of the Bill is to privatise commissioning. The Labour government tried it with the World Class commisioning initiative of Mark Britnell and the PCTs would not take it up. The Tories decided, in that case to abolish PCTs and impose a system whereby the FESC multinational companies would do the job of commissioning.
This was not the brainchild of David Nicholson. If you read the transcripts of his interviews to the Health Committee, he was keen to use expertise from PcT managers. He had to be persuaded “to see the light”.
Allyson Pollock’s studies of the Bill have pointed out that the Bill enables CCGs to have all their commissioning functions performed by private companies.
Lilley yet again hides the real drive of this coalition, to hand over the NHS to huge private corporations. ( McKinsey after all is writing the script and drafted the Bill. )


NHS Activism What you can do. NHS Vault

What do we do now the Health bill looks like becoming law? Ian Greener

Lansley’s barking spider. The Independent, the BBC & the RCGP. Badmed

Corporate capture of the NHS prize. Guardian letters

The real reason health insurers won’t cover pre-existing conditions. Wisdom of the Ailing.

A maverick’s lonely path in cardiology. The deadly mix of medicine, markets and patient choice. Coming to the NHS soon.

If current trends continue, health insurance premiums will surpass the median U.S. household income in 2033 Health News


6 reasons the NHS bill should be dropped. Ian Greener

Your one-click kit for saving the NHS Green Benches

Definition time. Fall our from the Lib dem conference by Roy Lilley

The Doctor and the Market: About the Influence of Market Reforms on the Professional Medical Ethics of Surgeons and General Practitioners in The Netherlands Market reforms mean Dutch surgeons “pay more attention to patients with relatively minor afflictions

The healthcare industry, where is it taking us? A warning from Arnold Relman, writing about the medical-industrial complex in 1991

The evidence suggests that if anyone is guilty of trumping truth with tribalism on privatisation and the NHS, it’s Williams Polly Toynbee Guardian


How Corporations Corrupt Science. Union of Concerned Scientists. PDF


The Health bill as a failure of democracy. Ian Greener.

The Lib Dems must wake up and smell the cyanide. Dr No.

NHS reform: Understanding the evidence base. London School of Hygeine and Tropical Medicine blog.

A plan B for the NHS (youtube)

What’s good for shareholders may not be good for patients Costs of Care

3 posts about the Libdems and the Health bill:

1. Libdem phantasy world. Socialist Health

2. Holding liberal democrats to account at their spring conference. Bevan’s Run

3. A bullshitometer reading of the Clegg-Williams letter to Lib Dems in Parliament. Health Policy Insight


Who would vote for this NHS bill? Excellent short summary from Roy Lilley.

Despite recent amendments to English health bill in response to opposition, Allyson Pollock, David Price, and Peter Roderick argue that it will enable charging for health services that are currently free: Pollock, Price & Roderick, a legal basis for charging and providing fewer services (pdf)


What every family needs to know about the health bill Daily Mail

The independent view from a consultant paediatrician “I am a consultant paediatrician* (I am writing under a pseudonym to protect family, colleagues and patients) with over 20 years experience. I work with parents, many of whom have problems with mental health, substance misuse or learning difficulties. My job is to help protect their children and prevent them from following a similar life path.”

Thousands march in protest at NHS bill Guardian


“We’ll never re-elect you if you wreck our NHS” Ringtone downloads:


“We’ll never re-elect you if you wreck our NHS!”android version

“We’ll never re-elect you if you wreck our NHS!”i-phone version

‘You promised not shake it up but launched this bloody messandroid version

‘You promised not shake it up but launched this bloody mess i-phone version


GP commissioning support services on the cusp of failing. HSJ


Bad science concerning NHS competition is being used to support the controversional Health and Social Care Bill Pollock, Greener, McFarlane. LSE Blog.


Head of new NHS Competition and Cooperation panel urged to quit after massive conflicts of interests revealed. Mail on Sunday.

The health and social care bill is an unholy mess, drop it now. Prof. David Colquhoun

The research on NHS competition – evidence, rhetoric and empiricism. Ian Greener

Why next week is the most important in the history of the NHS. The Green Benches

Lord Crisp, a former NHS chief has told the BBC that controversial proposals for the health service in England are a “mess” and “will set the NHS back.” BBC

Dr Phil Hammond Killing the Nation, Lansley and McKinsey inject poison into the NHS


Making NHS hospitals compete does not save money: Healthcare audit competition costs


How the Health and Social Care Bill would lead to fewer NHS services, new charges, and people being excluded by Prof. Allyson Pollock


Seven reasons for worry. Great summary of the bill from a GP


What are the NHS reforms for? Ian Greener

Social investigation. Links between Lords, MPs and private healthcare organisations.

Update 16.02.2012

Conservative briefing to counter opposition to the Healthbill, succinctly rebutted. Roy Lilley

Conservative counter to Healthbill opposition from Simon Burns, succinctly rebutted. Irwin Brown

The healthbill will not reduce bureaucracy or give power to clinicians. Part 2. Paul Corrigan

8 Myths about the Health Bill. Ian Greener

Update 27.01.2012

NHS Confederation chief executive Mike Farrar has warned the health service’s capacity could be reduced to “dangerously low levels” by proposals to halve the number of managers in key areas of NHS commissioning and planning. HSJ

Update 25.01.2012

Medical royal colleges toughen stance against health bill. Guardian

GP Commisssioning Groups widen health inequalities Pulse

There is an alternative: Public health consultants must not remain silent at a time of financial crisis EJPH

The effect of the governments NHS reforms on nursing numbers NHS Vault

GP commissioning and NHS reforms. What lies behind the hard sell? JRSM

Rethinking Non-communicable diseases. Chatham House

In for-profit healthcare, providers have overwhelming incentives to game the system to maximise profits

WMA statement on social determinants of health

Update 24.01.2012

Royal Colleges are feeling the heat. Lots going on behind scenes. Keep up the pressure and “Lobby Your College”

“The healthbill threatens to be financially as large as the poll tax fiasco” LSE blog

NHS reforms are killing efficiency savings Flip Chart Fairy Tales

Why Andrew Lansley is absolutely right and his opponents are completely wrong. Health Policy Insight

Is there a solution to the coalition’s NHS problems? “One thing that probably does need to change is Andrew Lansley” Conservative Home.

Update 23.01.2012

The argument for a publicly funded and (mostly) provided healthcare system, not based on competition. Ian Greener’s academic blog.

Update 20.01.2012

Does anyone understand the government’s NHS reforms, asks senior professor BMJ

Health Professionals for NHS. A repository of analyses of the Health Bill

Update 09.01.2012

The politics of NHS market reforms. Clive Peedell. Bevan’s Run. Essential, detailed analysis of why we’ve got the reforms we have.

“All public services have to be based on a diversity of independent providers who compete for business in a market governed by Consumer choice. All across Whitehall, any policy option now has to be dressed up as “choice”, “diversity”, and “contestablity”. These are the hallmarks of the “new model public service”
John Denham, Labour MP and former cabinet minister, quoted in the Chartist in 2006
This remarkable statement by John Denham summed up how market ideology had become the dominant model for delivering public services under a Labour Government. The proposed policies enshrined within the current coalition Government’s Health and Social Care Bill are even more pro-market. Bevan’s Run

New briefings from Professor Allyson Pollock on clauses 1, 4 & 12 of the healthbill. The Bill would transform the English NHS from a nationally-mandated public service required of the government under primary legislation into a service based on commercial contracting, underpinned by ministerial and local discretion and secondary legislation, and exacerbated by non-accountability to Parliament of commissioners and providers. Abolition of the duty of the Secretary of State to provide or secure provision of health services is the seminal change which brings this transformation about. The Constitution Committee’s amendments fall short of preventing it.

The privatisation of NHS commissioning. Richard blogger, NHS Vault The Government’s plans for NHS commissioning are inconsistent and ill-thought out. The new, untried clinical commissioning groups will deliver neither more localised commissioning nor are they likely to be any more financially viable than the PCTs they replace. The smaller “pathfinder” CCGs will have to merge with other groups, resulting in instability at a time when the NHS needs more stability. Commissioning will be carried out by private companies like KPMG, UnitedHealth and McKinsey, and a collection of Commissioning Support Organisations made up of former PCT commissioners”

Double D C*ck Up. Dr No, This a story with more ironical twists in it than a trotter’s tail, and enough inbuilt innuendo to fuel a full-on Carry On film. Carry On Busting, perhaps, featuring Sid James as the maverick French silicon oil salesman, Kenneth Williams as the overweening surgeon, Hattie as the hapless patient who got the implant from Hell that she never even needed, and – naturally – the wonderful Babs, as the babe for whom the bust tolled

PIP breast implants saga: a glimpse of the future NHS, “The use of market mechanisms to improve the provision of healthcare is not evil thing, or in itself unworkable. However, the saga over PIP implants has shown the challenges that come with it. This should be a warning to Lansley, as it is a glimpse of what is to come. The health bill proposes a massive market and addresses none of these challenges associated with it

Data and Nursing numbers (Paul Clarke) … the most important statistic I’m interested in about a hospital has changed. It’s not the “mortality index” (whatever that may tell me). It’s not the individual performance of a surgeon who might operate on me (though that’s clearly interesting).

It’s the ward-level ratio of Registered Nurses to patients.

Update 18.10.2011

Revealed: How NHS cuts are really affecting the young, old and infirm Guardian

Health reform. The economics of the madhouse, the care regime of the almshouse Telegraph

A fortune wasted to travel an elliptical journey to get us back to where we started. Ataxia, Roy Lilley

What Health Economists think of the Health bill. The academic health economists blog.

Monitor and CQC: Unfit for purpose. NHS Vault

La La land: Dr No’s blog

Ten questions for Malcolm Grant NHS commissioning board chair Health Policy Insight

Join the student protest against Malcolm Grant 1pm 19.10.2011 Coalition of Resistance

Update 13.09.2011

Time to email to lib dem MPs to get them to rediscover their collective spine Roy Lilley

The health and social care bill and the negation of democracy. Colin Leys. New Left Project

The end of the NHS as we know it. Colin Leys Guardian CIF

Without doubt this signals the end of the NHS as we know it. Max Pemberton Telegraph

Secretive think tanks are crushing our democracy. George Monbiot. Guardian

Lansley’s unhealthy double whammy. FOI and statistic gathering to go under NHS reforms. David Hencke

Healthbill, let’s see some real transparency. False Economy/ Richardblogger

Personal healthcare budgets NHSVault

Over to the Lords NHS Vault

Objections to the health and social care bill. NHS Vault

The nonsense that is cutting NHS admin NHS Vault

The pongs of privatisation, how can views on the question of privatisation be so diametrically opposed?. Badmed

Impotence of baffled malice. The use and abuse of evidence by the government to justify reform. Badmed

What your MP must know before they wreck the NHS next week. Polly Toynbee. Guardian

Lansley makes up rules for closing hospitals and ignores them because they don’t work. NHS Confed

The Book: Lies, damn lies and statistics in PMQ Roy Lilley

Time to abolish payment by results. Prof Alan Maynard

BMA and RCGP warn health bill will destabilise the NHS GP online

The Orwelian language of NHS reform Guardian

Private companies taking over NHS hospitals can lobby Monitor for higher tarifs Health Policy Insight

Update 01.09.2011

Liberating the NHS: Source & direction of the Lansley Reform. The most comprehensive, up to date summary of the NHS reforms by Alex Scott Samuel, Martin McKee, Lucy Reynolds, John Lister. LSHTM, Coventry & Liverpool University

NHS plans will mean putting wealthy first says doctors’ leader Hamish Meldrum BMA Guardian

GP leaders attack plans to increase competition in community services Pulse

Investors using tax havens to cash in on PFI contracts Guardian

The Royal Marsden Foundation Trust, Britain’s biggest specialist cancer trust, is planning to increase its private patient income by 20 per cent this year HSJ

The head of the RCGP has warned that rhetoric urging the closure of NHS hospitals is ‘unhelpful’ and damaging to attempts by GP commissioners to integrate care Pulse

The National Hospital Service strikes back against the concept of a commissioning-led NHS Health Policy Insight

Measuring NHS performance 1990-2009 Interpret with care. JRSM

Update 31.08.2011

Private health providers are banking on NHS reforms driving patients into their hands FalseEconomy

NHS needs fewer hospitals and consultants says Lord Nigel Crisp ex NHS chief exec Telegraph

Who wants responsibility for the NHS? Not Andrew Lansley Prof Alan Maynard Guardian

The health bill could seriously damage the NHS Andrew George MP Libdem and Commons Health Committee member also in Guardian

The risks to our NHS NHS Alert

The NHS reforms and the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Health Ian Greener’s Academic Blog

Atos healthcare action against CarerWatch forum. HealthPolicyInsight

Evidence from the US: Administrative costs of managed care over 38% (compared to approx 14% for NHS) Minnesota Physician Patient Alliance

We need to beware of prophets bearing simple solutions to NHS reform Ian Greener’s Academic Blog

NHS bill will let Lansley ‘wash his hands of the NHS’ Guardian/ 38 Degrees

Did we need a legal opinion to point out the bleedin’ obvious? Dr No

GPs respond to government’s claim that the majority of health professionals support NHS reform Pulse

Adopt a peer and write to the about NHS reform before they debate the bill Going to work

Middle class flock to private antenatal classes as NHS cuts bite Guardian

Update 25.08.2011

The Government are deliberately misusing the number of GPs ‘signed up’ to Clinical Commissioning Groups to imply support for the whole NHS and Social Care Bill. If you’re a member of a Commissioning Consortia/Group or a member of a practice that’s involved with Consortia/Groups, please sign our petition

The power stuggle at the heart of NHS reforms Pulse

Senates to be watered down Pulse

How can we trust hospitals that don’t file complaint data? Guardian

London amitions for stroke and cancer care Guardian

Update 24.08.2011

SAGA frighten older people into buying their health insurance over NHS waiting time increase and NHS reform. Newspaper advert. See also this SAGA puff-piece enthusing about NHS reform from the Telegraph in May

Rival factions (BMA/RCGP Vs NHS Alliance/NAPC) fight for Future Forums second coming. Health Service Journal

How patient choice can work. Ian Greener’s Academic blog

Some thoughts on choice and competition. NHS Vault

NHS Queues spell cash for private health providers Morning Star

Keep pressure on MPs over NHS reform, doctors urged BMA news

Sign up to the NHS Big Weekend Sept 3rd/4th NHS Alert

NHS should be more switched on about apps, but they risk increasing inequalities: Dr Plum & Richardblogger

Morrisons supermarkets developing plans for in-store GP surgeries. Pulse

Tackling health inequalities restructured into a luxury. Kate Thomson, Healthy Policies

ATOS legal thereast take down critical carer-watch forum. ECDP

The case against healthcare choice and competition Health Economics, Policy & Law

Does studying economics inhibit cooperation? GNU philosophy

Should there be more GPs? BMJ

Update 19.8.2011

Ex-GP peer, Lord Rea to table amendments to ‘wreck’ the health bill. Pulse.

NHS waiting times soar as doctors blame cuts in hospital budgets. Guardian

Competition between systems for pride is effective and essential Muir Gray BMJ

NHS Support Federation Improving the NHS for patients, not profits

Govt right to keep listening on NHS reform NHS confederation.

Update 18.8.2011

Campaigners step up campaign over doomsday NHS reforms Pulse

Lansley selective hearing on NHS ‘listening exercise’ UNISON

Is the NHS a good bet for investors? Roy Lilley, Squaring the circle.

Trust holds back pay rise from lowest band staff. Nursing Times

Darzi Centre paid 7 times more per patient than GP practices GP online.

Irresponsibilty in health care media coverage. The Academic Blog

David Cameron launches second phase of listening exercise HSJ

Department of Health guidelines falsely inflate NHS costs False Economy

How Lansley is fiddling hospitals Payment by results (PbR) system False Economy

A&E waiting times and BBC headlines. DoOgle

Atos threaten legal action against disabled campaigner. Morning Star

Update 16.8.2011

Christie hospital, Manchester plans national ‘chain’ of cancer centres. HSJ

Update 14.08.2011

UK healthcare system is one of the most efficient in rich countries. BMJ

PCTs clamour to put entire care pathways out to tender.Pulse

Calls to MPs to right NHS reform plans Lynn News

What exactly is the problem with NHS reforms? The Academic Blog

Unacceptable face of General Practice. Vulnerable patients dumped. Roy Lilley

The NHS IT nightmare Lancet

Update: 10.08.2011

What would the NHS have to be like for markets to work? The Academic Blog

Tory NHS reform enthusiast says he cannot afford to care for 48 vulnerable patients GP news

Health insurers take advantage of NHS cuts and put pressure on govt for more employer insurance. Health Insurance and protection

Rank Hypocracy. Government go back on NHS pledges over privatisation and choice. NHS Vault.

Prof. Alan Maynard (health economist) on alternatives to NHS reform. Health Policy Insight

Update: 04.08.2011

We all need to get behind the anti-Health Bill campaign Clive Peedell NHSCA

An NHS manager defends GP commissioning cynics (or sceptics) Jon Restell

Health insurers sacrifice Americans for profit. Michael Moore blog

The new NHS organogram Guardian GP online

DH rejects competition expansion claim HSJ(£)

The difficulties with patient waiting lists explained by expert Rob Findlay

Health is global, what does that mean for the UK? JRSM

Update: 04.08.2011

NHS funding cuts in poorer areas will take decades. GP news

Analysis: Are the most deprived areas losing NHS funding? Factcheck

More NHS hospitals experience financial problems under Tory NHS cuts Telegraph

PCTs must deliver 4% efficiency savings per year for 4 years , under plans set out by NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson. But data from 76 PCTs show that 45 (59%) are not hitting this target. GP news

NHS creaking at the seams as waiting lists rise (says health insurance website)

The lip-service paid to patient involvement in the NHS Roy Lilley, Decorating

England expects. Can we imagine an NHS without a purchaser-provider split? Dr No

Time to allow cash for Kidneys? Guardian

Are we prescribing too many antipsychotic drugs? The risk of NHS efficiency savings is that drugs to treat psychosis will be used to treat anxiety, depression, personality disorders and so on instead of providing more expensive human support. The new valuim? Antipsychotics not effective in PTSD

Update: 03.08.2011

DoH scraps health inequalities task force in cost-cutting drive. GP news.

Judge us on inequalities, DoH says. Don’t worry, we will. GP news

Responses to Oliver Letwin who said, “You can’t have room for innovation and the pressure for excellence without having some real discipline and some fear on the part of the providers that things may go wrong if they don’t live up to the aims that society as a whole is demanding of them” The Academic blog. Lisa Says this.

NHS watchdog plan a recipe for disaster for patient involvement as Health Watch bodies that replace LINKs are cut: Telegraph

Last chance to stop the health bill. Wendy Savage co-chair Keep Our NHS Public. Guardian Letters

Update: 02.08.2011

Pop ups. The growing behemoth that is Payment by Results consuming 20% of the NHS budget (and rising) Jobbing Doctor

Southern Cross exposes flaws in the choice agenda Guardian

Why hospitals (or GP surgeries) are not like coffee shops. The Academic blog

Update: 01.08.2011

The Department of Health, the Competition and Cooperation Panel and the art of avoiding the bleedin’ obvious. Roy Lilley, Governance for Begininners

GPs, commissioning and conflicts of interest. See comment from Richardblogger #2 under article

Surgeons, perverse incentives and vested interests. BUPA accuses surgeons of performing uncessary operations. ‘Whatsoever you reap …’ Guardian.

Alcohol policy, vested interests and public health. Guardian.

Competition doesn’t save lives. Responding to Zack Cooper. Ian Greener The Academic Blog

A GP responds to a Daily Mail journalist’s complaint that she cannot be seen as an ’emergency’ for travel vaccinations. Brian Kellet

NHS funding shifted from poorer to better off areas: Guardian & Labour North

Video: Reel News, The battle to save the NHS.

Update: 28.07.2011

Cost of NHS refrom rising by £1m a day. Guardian

Co-Operation and Competition Panel elective care AWP report pro-choice; anti-commissioning Health Policy Insight


Zack Cooper says competition in healthcare saves lives Telegraph. Cooper’s paper here.

Responses to Cooper:

  • NHS competition study into heart attack survival splits academic community (or does it?) See excellent comment (#5) by Dr Evan Harris. Guardian.
  • ‘Competition doesn’t save lives’ The Academic Blog.
  • My blog post about the risks of competition noteably absent from Cooper’s work.
  • Lucy Reynolds: Two issues with competition in healthcare BMJ
  • What the Competition and Cooperation Panel think about competition. Policy Projects report. (“Beyond satire” Andy Cowper, Health Policy Insight)
  • Is there evidence that competition in health care is a good thing? BMJ debate. Links to comments from myself and Lucy Reynolds and others.
  • FullFact analysis of the day’s debate
  • What you need to know: 1. There is no evidence that the patients in Coopers study were choosing which hospital to go to. They had an MI (heart attack) and went to hospital as an emergency by amublance without being offered a choice. 2. There is no evidence to suggest that the hospitals were competing with eachother to provide the best MI treatment or to attract patients. 3. Cooper does not show that competition is more effective than collaboration and/ or professionalism at improving quality.

“This bill is a buggers muddle”. Thoughts on working with NHS heart czar Roger Boyle by Roy Lilley.

Cost of NHS changes rising by £1m a day Guardian

NHS delays operations ‘as it waits for patients to die or go private’ – Telegraph

I’ll cut the NHS and raise the deficit. NHS Vault

Having cancer is an education and this is what I learned. Guardian

Update: 27.07.2011

Andrew Lansley is wrong, GPs do not support this health bill. Ron Singer, Guardian.

Health bill should be amended or withdrawn. Clare Gerada, Chair of Royal College of GPs. Pulse.

Two issues with competition in healthcare. “the current NHS reform was delineated in 1987-8, in papers by MPs Redwood, Letwin (both ex-directors of Rothschilds’ Privatisation Unit), Willetts, and Peet. All asserted without evidence that competition would benefit UK healthcare. In 2005, Lansley proclaimed “maximising competition” as the “principle of NHS reform,”and now he prescribes competition for every NHS ill. Lucy Reynolds BMJ

The difference between Any Willing Provider (AWP) and Any Qualified Provider (AQP) Lucy Reynolds BMJ

Failure in public organisations especially healthcare. Ian Greener

Messing with Medicare. Paul Krugman New York Times

Update: 26.07.11

Sir Roger Boyle: “It’s horrific the NHS’ future is being threatened” Govt’s heart czar has his knuckes rapped by Lansley for criticising NHS reform. Independent.

Talk of markets in the NHS is a failure of clinicians and managers – a provocation. Ian Greener, The Academic Blog

Update: 25.7.11

Dr Theresa Eynon: vested interests, pressure to prescribe and GP commissioning

Dr Jacky Davis: Do you hate the Russians more than you love your children? BMJ letter.

Draft of a new book by Valerie Iles. She is currently director of the National Leadership Programme of The Royal College of General Practitioners, Honorary Senior Lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Fellow of the Centre for Leadership Studies at the University of Exeter: ‘Why reforming the NHS doesn’t work, the importance of understanding why good people offer bad care

Labour briefing, “we are very concerned that the government’s post-pause changes will be more complex, more costly and less likely to help …”

Dodgy Dossier, the extraordinary new Department of Health document: ‘Impact Assessment of the Extension of Any Qualified Provider ‘. “It is an insult to management, an affront to the concept of the independent public servant and little short of a party political broadcast. It is witless, evidence free, and drained of intellect”. Roy Lilley

The day they signed the death warrant for the NHS. Max Pemberton, Telegraph.

If markets aren’t the answer to NHS reform, what is? Ian Greener.

Healthcare reform and … Hayek. Ian Greener.

GP Petition from Unite: We the undersigned are GP members of shadow Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) or belong to practices that are members of shadow CCGs. We are involved in Clinical Commissioning in order to protect our patients’ future interests if the law changes. Participation in shadow CCGs is not – and should not be claimed as – support for the Health and Social Care Bill, which we do not support. We support BMA policy that the Health and Social Care Bill should be withdrawn.

Update: 22.7.2011

Five reasons to scrap the bill: Excellent fact sheet from UNISON

Roy Lilley: “There can be no one, save the bluest of blue-rinse Tory, with a BUPA gold-card, who can say we are in anything other than the Mother of All Mess” Chorus Time

Dr Margaret McCartney: The NHS opened up to devastation.

Dr Clive Peedell and Dr Lucy Reynolds with Debbie Abrahams MP explain how competition has been Lansley’s plan since 2005 and remains at the heart of the Bill. Left Foot Forward

Dr_no explains the implications of private providers like Southern Cross and Circle taking over NHS services. Badmed

Dr Jacky Davis on why the overhyped ‘pause’ means that the privatisation and competition agenda is pushing on regardless. Guardian CIF.

Richardblogger on what the Open Public Services White Paper has to say about the NHS and privatisation NHSvault

Private providers have no reason to fear NHS reform with Steven Bubb on the Future Forum. Spinwatch

Mark Hawker on playing with department of health statistics: How much choice do patients really want? Markhawker And a response in the Lancet

3 responses to “The best NHS reform criticism on the web

  1. Here is a link to a blog on the Mother’s Day Rally at Parliament on 18th March 2012. I attended and whilst not many turned up those that did were passionate. This blog is a good round up of the event and has photos!

  2. In response to “Will the last chief exec turn the lights out” –

    Interesting. Agree that the model doesn’t work and trusts are powerless to do what they need to do to get the job done most efficiently and effectively. Also agree that a single overarching analysis of the 155 trusts and the resources needed to remedy the situation is a must. However the reality is that the NHS has been going around in circles for years, which has proved to only drive patient care and the financial ability to sustain a good quality, into disrepute. This overarching report may demonstrate that.

    As I see it, the only solution is a major shift that will force the NHS away from its current state, reduce complexity and live and breathe a model where the numbers add up and patient care is better than ‘satisfactory’. I don’t know what that model or solution is, and will by no means attempt to speculate. However, it seems to me that the current spread of financial responsibility isn’t sustainable and more support is required, and is not available in the current budget that the government prescribe – therefore tax payers either need to be more responsible by paying more taxes or perhaps pay more by requirements such as paying a small charge per night in hospital like they do in Sweden. Failing that, if there is confidence in the level of care that the private sector can provide then they should be given a really good chance.

    Personally, I would get rid of all GPs and GP surgeries and support private pharmaceutical companies to educate pharmacists through a regulatory independent body linked to universities, who are available on site in high streets near residential areas without appointments 24 hours a day. Clinics are then set up to deal with more serious complaints such as fractures and minor injuries – one per town. Anything serious requiring surgery is referred to a hospital where specialist clinicians will travel between hospitals in a defined area so that patients can have access to the most talented specialists in the country. All measured by the Friends and Family Test of course (although something far more innovative that the SPT have failed to roll out!!)

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