The Adam Smith institute weighs in on waste. The purchasing power of a large mutual (former NHS) is much greater than the 4/5 different regions:
Sir, You are right that the National Health Service requires more money in addition to tackling its “internal woes”, ie waste (leading article, Mar 26). But if the NHS is given all the money it seeks, the incentive to eliminate waste will be removed. The Department of Health and Social Care will retain 19 quangos where seven would suffice; assets such as operating theatres will remain underused; beds will remain occupied by those needing long-term care; administration will absorb time that should be devoted to patients; and adult social care will remain the poor, underfunded relation (the social care “principles” proposed by the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, this month made no mention of money at all).
A commission will take time to deliberate, but that time will not be squandered if the NHS uses it to eliminate waste and establish a fair share of resources between medical and social care. That would resolve short-term pressures, allowing the commission to deal with longer-term issues.
Adam Smith Institute, London SW1
“The NHS is like a tumour on the public finances, expanding so aggressively that it threatens to kill other organs of state …. Better still would be a formal policy if provision is to be limited — but the politics is too sensitive”.