NHS Bureaucracy – Insightful letters in The Times

The Times Letters NHS bureaucracy on 15th July 2013 (in response to NHS facing 30 bn shortfall) Drs Caroline Bonwitt from Todenham, Glos & Dr Andrew Bamji from Rye, E Sussex

“The old NHS was cheap — there were no transactions and all monies were spent on clinical care; now too much is spent on administration

Sir, May I remind everybody that in the days before the ludicrous “internal  market” of John Major (1990), the NHS cost less than 7 per cent of GDP yet  turned in morbidity and mortality figures that rivalled any health system in  the world (“NHS  faces £30bn shortfall and needs radical reform, say chiefs”, July 11).

Now it costs about 10 per cent of GDP per annum and has fallen radically  behind in all measures. All of this money has gone on bureaucracy. The old  NHS was cheap because there were no transactions and all monies were spent  on clinical care. It is true that there were long waits but priorities were  decided by clinical need which is surely how it should be.”

Dr Caroline Bonwitt Todenham, Glos

“Sir, Financial analysis of two failed hospital trusts came to the same  conclusion in each — their problems were largely caused by an unaffordable  PFI debt. Your report states that NHS debt is approaching £30bn. Two years  ago the debt was estimated at £20bn so despite debt reduction measures over  the last two years things are worse.

Extrapolating from the analyses at South London Healthcare Trust and  Peterborough & Stamford, the majority of current debt nationwide is  attributable to PFI. Widespread hospital closure is not possible as PFI  hospitals are “locked in” for the duration of their contract — usually 25-35  years. Closures can only occur of non-PFI hospitals which by definition are  financially more stable.

The failure of government to abandon, and/or buy out the PFIs, can only be  explained by its wish to see the NHS fail, so that it may be replaced by  private sector “efficiency”. The report on GP services in the South-West,  which you printed adjacent to the debt crisis article, does not lead to any  sense of confidence that involvement of private enterprise is either  reasonable or safe.”

Dr Andrew Bamji Rye, E Sussex

I agree.

This entry was posted in A Personal View, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

1 thought on “NHS Bureaucracy – Insightful letters in The Times

  1. Pingback: GP leaders launch major policy drive over premises ‘live crisis’ | NHS reality. An NHS soapbox. Speakers' corner for the NHS.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s