Saturday, June 16, 2007

Still A Political Football

Patricia Hewitt is an idiot in so many ways. My spirits picked up a little when I heard last year that Gordon Brown was said to favour handing over day-to-day control of the NHS to an independent board - in the same way he gave up control of interest rates to the Bank of England in 1997. At last, I thought, I might work for an organisation that is run by people who have some idea what they are talking about instead of suffering the consequences of being run by feeble-minded politicians who have no experience of the NHS, either as managers or, in many cases, as consumers. In my experience, politicians often have poorly thought-through ideas that seem to be based on gaining short-term popularity through headlines in the tabloid press.

According to this article, however, that plan has fallen out of favour. I note Hewitt's comments about the putative benefits of "competitive pressure" within the NHS, but I would like to see the evidence for such benefits especially outwith major cities, IE in places where the local hospital has no effective competitor.

Hewitt is said to
back an NHS constitution, which could cover behaviour expected of NHS patients and people's personal responsibility for their own health. This is another area where political rule falls down. It's not exactly a vote-winner to tell people that they should be more responsible in the use of the service.

It seems Hewitt is likely to go when Brown takes over the helm, but it appears that the poor staff of the NHS will continue to work for a "polical football".