Joined up government

Compare and contrast:

We will stop the top-down reorganisations of the NHS that have got in the way of patient care. We are committed to reducing duplication and the resources spent on administration, and diverting these resources back to front-line care. — The Coalition our programme for Government May 2010

‘People voted for change and the Coalition Agreement set out a bold and exciting vision for the future of the NHS” – Andrew Lansley July 12

In the coalition plan PCTs will be reformed so they better represent patients, in the DH release these PCTs will be abolished. Patients deserve to know which it is. A previous reform also stamped all over attempts to have patients better represented in the NHS management.

It would be hilarious if it isn’t reforming one of the largest areas of government spending, and they give the appearance that they don’t know what they are thinking of planning let alone what they are doing.

I was browsing through “Better or Worse?: Has Labour Delivered?” by
Polly Toynbee and David Walker the other day, which was written as a review of the Labour administration before the 2005 election. In it they observe that all the NHS wants is a new government that doesn’t want wholesale reform. It isn’t that the proposed reforms are a bad idea, on paper they usually sound pretty reasonable, and GP fund holding is regarded fondly by many who worry about how the NHS is organized, it is just another reorganisation.

What is most saddening I think is that the coalition are removing many of the target driven reforms of the last Labour government, that one can point to and show genuine progress in the provisioning of health care. They argue they don’t want a “tickbox” culture, but the evidence is that “tickbox culture” worked. Such targets would also show up any lack of delivery by the new government, whose commitment to the NHS looks pretty suspect. David Cameron keeps repeating it is safe in his hands, but we can see exactly how much his word is worth if Andrew Lansley still has a job in the morning.

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