The big issue in health care in the future will be “hinesty”. Will state systems can be good enough to compete with private care, and to avoid inequality and a two tier system? Honesty in rationing and what is not available is essential, as is cleaning up the relationship between big pharma and medics. In England Steven Broomhead has already said how unhappy he is…
There is no secrecy and nothing in Labour party rules to prevent it from seeking advice from non-party members (Labour health advisers angered by John McDonnell’s parallel group, 30 June). I am a recently retired consultant paediatrician and director of children’s services in Lewisham when Jeremy Hunt tried to close our hospital. I am a member of no party. Dr Louise Irvine, a GP and chair of the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign, who stood against Hunt at the 2015 election, probably did more for the NHS than any other candidate by making a principled defence of a publicly funded and provided, and accountable NHS.
Keep Our NHS Public is part of an effort to build a broad consensus to win back a national health service and which helped establish Health Campaigns Together. Following a meeting at the House of Commons in April with the then shadow health secretary, Heidi Alexander, John McDonnell and their teams, our request for an ongoing conversation was agreed by them. Full minutes, including a paper I myself authored about this planned forum, are on the HCT website. So where is the secrecy? At a time when the NHS is being deliberately underfunded and contracts worth over £10bn have gone to private companies since 2010, it is important that the Labour party leads the fightback. There is nothing undemocratic in offering an array of talent from health policy, journalism, clinicians, patient experience and law to the shadow team. Who is trying to undermine such a worthwhile initiative and to use it to undermine the elected leadership?
Dr Tony O’Sullivan
Co-chair, Keep Our NHS Public and member of HCT
here is a longstanding joke about the lack of sunshine in Scotland.
Three years ago, I began the process of raising a petition with the Scottish parliament to urge the Scottish government to introduce a Sunshine Act.
A Sunshine Act makes it a statutory requirement for all payments from commercial interests made to healthcare workers and academics to be declared publicly. The metaphor is that sunshine brings full light. Both the US and France have introduced a Sunshine Act…..
NHS reform plan ‘arrogant’ says Warrington council boss – BBC News 2nd July 2016
A council chief has written to the NHS warning its plan for implementing local reforms was a “recipe for disaster”.
Steven Broomhead, chief executive of Warrington Borough Council, wrote to NHS England’s chief executive Simon Stevens saying decisions were being made “without any local transparency”.
He warned: “Such arrogance is bound to fail”.
NHS England said it wanted to see more joint working but it was “accountable to parliament”.
‘Local scrutiny needed’
A spokesperson added: “That is what the N in NHS means – National Health Service.”
Mr Broomhead’s letter comes as 44 regional NHS officials draw up Sustainability and Transformation Plans, designed to introduce major reforms to local health services.
He wrote he was “astounded by NHS England’s naivety” and said changes to where people receive services and what services they receive needed “local scrutiny and local community involvement”.
He added he had experienced changes to stroke and trauma services as well as primary care provision, “with no local discussion or consideration”.