13,000 people killed by the NHS.

(54 Posts)
MrJudgeyPants Tue 16-Jul-13 23:06:42

13000 people are believed to have died unnecessarily in a handful of NHS trusts. The Care Quality Commission, the organisation tasked with investigating this sort of thing, stands accused of covering up some of the worst excesses - including the use of superinjunctions, gagging orders and big money pay off's. Despite this, no one has lost their job, their pension or been publicly censured in any way even though manslaughter prosecutions may be appropriate. The service seems to be being run for the sole benefit of the bureaucracy (producer interest) and not for its patients.

Given that the state has comprehensively failed to manage our health care, is the time right to break up this monolith and privatise as much of it as possible (maintaining the free at the point of use premise) but having it organised and run along the same lines as the French healthcare system?

yamsareyammy Tue 16-Jul-13 23:12:09

hmm. That asumes that privitising it would be better. And I have a horrible suspicion that it would be a whole lot worse.
Whos to know.

niceguy2 Tue 16-Jul-13 23:12:53

Oh yeah...fucking great idea. Privatise the NHS so it's no longer accountable to the health secretary & government but instead to shareholders.....hmm

The NHS is far from perfect and there's definitely scope for improvement. But breaking it up? No politician is THAT stupid.

And how many people are treated successfully by the NHS each year compared to the dodgy statistic above?

I think the words 'are believed to' say it.

That is not proof.

60,000,000 are believed to be alive today because of the NHS.

MrJudgeyPants Tue 16-Jul-13 23:36:48

I don't see why a privatised service wouldn't still be accountable to a health secretary. Many privatised industries are still accountable to a minister somewhere. However, when the ministers are allegedly involved with the CQC's cover-up it begs the question "is the NHS too politicised?"

Incidentally, since 1993 there have been ten different ministers for health with each one only being in post for an average of two years. The NHS is reputed to be one of the biggest organisations on the planet so it doesn't deserve or need such a high churn rate within its senior management.

Also, niceguy, what the fuck do you mean 'dodgy statistic' - this is now a matter of public record that I'm quoting, not pulling the figures out of thin air!

joanofarchitrave Tue 16-Jul-13 23:52:37

"However tempting it may be, it is clinically meaningless and academically reckless to use such statistical measures to quantify actual numbers of avoidable deaths."

Bruce Keogh.

OddBoots Tue 16-Jul-13 23:58:13

That figure is only meaningful if we had figures from other systems gathered and analysed the same way from a statistically large enough sample.

EverythingInMjiniature Wed 17-Jul-13 00:12:32

If I could link on my phone to the excellent article explaining why this is bollocks I would. Essentially it is based on a widely derided statistical measure of standardised mortality that compares mortality in a particular trust to the mean. By definition, half of all trusts will have higher mortality than the mean, and will continue to do so even if mortality halves in all hospitals.

The only way to decide if a death could be avoided is to undertake an individual review of medical notes etc. This headline is not reporting that, just dodgy stats.

The cynic in me thinks stories like this are fed through government depts to erode public trust in the NHS and pave the way to privatisation. It seems to be working given some of the responses to this thread.

EverythingInMjiniature Wed 17-Jul-13 00:14:19

Sorry, having re-read thread I think most people are sceptical! blush

blondieminx Wed 17-Jul-13 00:19:34

Hmm, privatisation has worked so well in other sectors hmm

Sick people are not an asset that can be commoditised.

The scandal of this governments attack on the NHS is shameful. Funnily enough if you chip away at budgets and cut staff then service does suffer...except it's not bloody funny because people are literally dying.

Meanwhile Jeremy C Hunt has started the process of flogging off the health service to his Tory mates.

joanofarchitrave Wed 17-Jul-13 00:55:30

The NHS has a brand. Because it has a single brand with a lot of public affection, it has been protected to some extent from funding cuts. Social services, having no brand, have been cut to ribbons. Since they are all one service, really, this affects the NHS too, as there's nowhere to discharge people to, people can't leave hospital and remarkably quickly, ambulances start piling up in A&E entrances.

In order to be able to cut NHS funding, you will have to damage the brand. Who in this government used to work in PR and knows this stuff like the back of his hand? Who would know how to take a really superb piece of work like the Keogh report, which shines a fierce light onto the unacceptable and the substandard and gets buy-in through all levels of the organisations it studied, and turn it into a simple brand-damaging exercise?

I will do this government the favour of acknowledging that it genuinely believes that publicly run institutions are intrinsically worse than privately run ones, and that only the left-wing media and the chattering classes manage somehow to persuade voters that something so odd, so alien, so Soviet as the NHS should somehow survive into the 21st century.

In fact, I'm no longer against the privatisation of the NHS - if the country wants me to work in a different uniform for 50% of the money so that the cash can go to shareholders, whatever. I can see that we would lose some really unhelpful and unacceptable stuff along with the gift relationship, which will be irreplaceable. As long as we know what we're doing, and who's doing it, and why.

piprabbit Wed 17-Jul-13 01:05:33

There is no evidence that 13000 have been killed by anyone.

The Keogh Review doesn't mention any numbers. In fact Professor Sir Bruce Keogh has said "However tempting it may be, it is clinically meaningless and academically reckless to use such statistical measures to quantify actual numbers of avoidable deaths."

Saying 13000 people have been killed by the NHS is simply scaremongering of the worst sort.

yamsareyammy Wed 17-Jul-13 07:48:21

Interesting that you have put it in Politics and not elsewhere, such as In The News.
Is there a reason for that?

yamsareyammy Wed 17-Jul-13 07:51:11

Currently there are many people, men especially who are reluctant to go to their GPs in the first instance. For a whole lot of reasons.
Just think how many would not go in time or at all to the GP, or not "allow" other family members to go, if it had to be paid for.
That alone would "cause" thousands of deaths, or make injuries/ diseases, a whole lot worse.

MrJudgeyPants Wed 17-Jul-13 08:09:21

Yams. I put this in politics because I believe that the NHS is too politicised for its own good. Also, read my opening post again. I explicitly stated that the principle of health care which remains free at the point of use should be protected.

What is so wrong with the French health care system that trying to emulate it in this country arouses such passions?

yamsareyammy Wed 17-Jul-13 08:12:09

You need to explain how the French health care system works.

yamsareyammy Wed 17-Jul-13 08:13:40

But hang on. A family member has some experience of the French Health care system. And she ended up paying £200, for some physio [even with some travel insurance], that she would have got for free, and later did, on the NHS

Wuldric Wed 17-Jul-13 08:20:16

The healthcare system in France is not free at the point of delivery. A visit to the Doctors costs around 25 Euros. It's a very good and thorough check up, much more time is spent with patients, but it is still not free. I think that if I had filled in a mountain of paperwork I might have been able to reclaim that money, but frankly I didn't know where to start so didn't bother.

MiniTheMinx Thu 18-Jul-13 17:45:04

Given that the state has comprehensively failed to manage our health care, is the time right to break up this monolith and privatise as much of it as possible

Is the time right? too late really to discuss this because it is already happening.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 20-Jul-13 08:00:48

There does seem to be something fundamentally wrong with the way the NHS is organised and managed and I suspect it's a combination of finite budgets, the complacency of monopoly & the knee-jerk aversion to change that characterises anything that is massive, state-run and highly unionised. It's too simplistic to say 'privatise it' but I think there is a strong case for breaking it down into more manageable core functions, outsourcing (as already happens) where particular expertise is needed and commercialising where appropriate.

The procurement of medical supplies, for example, is an enormous chunk of the budget. This could be easily hived off to two or three specialist, commercial procurement companies who would then compete, as other retailers do, on price, quality and service to be the supplier of choice to hospitals and general practices.

Solopower1 Sat 20-Jul-13 18:27:42

All you want to do, MrJP, is collude with the government and media in dissing the NHSA so that people don't protest or try to protect it from privatisation.

There is no way our health will improve if the NHS is privatised. What will happen is that we will all have to take out health insurance and those who don't have it won't get treated, as in the US.

Solopower1 Sat 20-Jul-13 18:30:23

If an organisation is privatised, it has to make a profit. How on earth can you make a profit from ill people? Only by cutting down on staff training and numbers, rationing drugs and deciding who to treat on the basis of who is going to need less expensive treatments.

MrJudgeyPants Sun 21-Jul-13 00:12:10

On the contrary Solo, how much of the NHS budget is spent on middle management and bureaucracy? If those jobs were cut, I doubt anyone would notice.

Similarly, if each hospital had market pressure to adopt best practice, how much money would be saved?

All monopolies lead to complacency, I fail to see why there is an assumption that this doesn't apply to the NHS.

Finally, I'm not attacking the principle of free health care. There are already numerous examples where the state outsources vital work to the private sector which are perfectly sensible. I'm thinking of feeding the unemployed. No one in their right mind would suggest that the state should turn up on the doorstep with a basket of groceries each week - it's far more sensible to give them some cash and let the individual spend it as they see fit. This leads to more choice and better standards of food, better tailored to the needs of the individual, for a better price.

There is a need for the state to pay for health care, I just cannot see the need for it to be the state that provides that health care.

Solopower1 Sun 21-Jul-13 08:50:40

Not denying that money can be saved on bureaucracy and management. I remember life before the managers moved in on the NHS, in order, we were told, to make the NHS more efficient. Instead, they made it a lot worse, imo.

When you speak of a monopoly, you have it in your head that the NHS is a company that is in competition with other health care providers. How can that be if it is non-profit-making? What do you see the NHS as monopolising? What is it competing for?

There isn't a business model that can compare to the NHS because it isn't a business - and that's (one of) the mistakes that were made when the managers came in. They wanted to make it more 'efficient' ie to cut down on waste and make the money go further, but they thought they could do it by using a business model. You can't do that with the NHS, any more than you can do it with education. Of course there are some things the NHS could learn from business, but when the whole reason for its existence is not to make a profit, you can't just graft one system that is geared up to making a profit onto an entity with a completely different purpose.

You need to find another model.

Solopower1 Sun 21-Jul-13 08:51:50

I love thinking that my taxes go towards making someone's child better. What I hate is when the tax payers are duped into funding private companies, because, like private schools, they will set themselves up as charities and the govt will subsidise them. The govt will also have to pay companies to provide the most expenisive treatments and long-term care.

The NHS is one of the most efficient healthcare systems in the world. Of course it can be improved - no organisation, private or public is 100% efficient.

Everyone makes the same sweeping judgements "cut middle management, be more efficient" without pointing to real facts. It's all anecdote.

I've yet to see a review which has said that the NHS overall is failing. It has to meet the challenge of an older population etc etc but on the whole it is not failing. Quoting dubious numbers as done in the OP is just making stuff up.

When the government said they wanted to a top down review there was uproar because it came from little more than a Tory dream to go back to the pre NHS days where doctors could fleece patients and the poor got shafted then died.

I certainly do not want a system like the US where people have to choose between eating or healthcare. It is disgusting.

EmilyAlice Sun 21-Jul-13 09:23:15

The French health system is very expensive. Contributions from workers and employers are huge, to the point where it cripples small businesses. When we had a small gite business we paid over half of everything we took in contributions for health and pensions. Only 70% is refunded by the state, we pay 150€ a month in top-up insurance. This doesn't cover everything and the cost of dentistry and spectacles is astronomical. The service is good, but hugely in debt and is a much bigger proportion of GDP than in the UK.
And as we now know that figure of 13,000 dead was wrong and was politicking of the worst sort from the government.
I do not think anyone should be complacent; I also think that the French system has areas that are not as good as they should be, but we don't have the same kind of newspaper stories here.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 22-Jul-13 08:00:22

I think the alarmist suggestion that any departure from the current structure automatically means a US-style system and people dying in the streets is also too simplistic. The principle of free healthcare at the point of need (if we disregard prescription charges) stands and there has been zero suggestion that will change. The quality of the free healthcare provided, how it's delivered, by whom and how we keep the cost to the taxpayer down are the parts that can and should be constantly examined and improved.

Think of it this way. The NHS budget equates to nearly £2000/year for every man, woman and child in England. If the NHS didn't exist and we were all given £2000 to spend on a BUPA policy, we'd qualify for something pretty fancy.

ITCouldBeWorse Mon 22-Jul-13 08:05:53

I agree it is difficult to know what it is the nhs is being compared against?
Medicine is astonishingly different, the profile of the population is completely different and expectations are very different to the days of the nhs and its creation.

If you consider the logistics of keeping a family healthy and well over several generations and multiply those by many millions, the scale of managing the nhs is breathtaking.

ITCouldBeWorse Mon 22-Jul-13 08:06:40

But to go back to the OP, has privatisation ever improved any large service? Genuine question - I cannot think of one!

ITCouldBeWorse Mon 22-Jul-13 08:09:14

A 2 k bupa policy would be completely useless in the case of a car crash, ongoing illness, child birth etc.

It is very easy to make a fancy pants offering when you don't have to fund the nitty gritty of the service. Eg Royal Mail could make loads more profit if they did not have to deliver little letters to far flung places.

ITCouldBeWorse Mon 22-Jul-13 08:09:54

And screw anyone with a pre -existing condition!

Think of it this way. The NHS budget equates to nearly £2000/year for every man, woman and child in England. If the NHS didn't exist and we were all given £2000 to spend on a BUPA policy, we'd qualify for something pretty fancy

Which, in all due respect is a pretty simplistic way to think of it. We all hav different medical needs, some times we need more than others, sometimes less. Plus BUPA wouldnt touch the boring stuff and would skim off a profit.

Give me evidence that the NHS needs a fundamental overhaul.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 22-Jul-13 11:01:18

"A 2 k bupa policy would be completely useless in the case of a car crash, ongoing illness, child birth etc."

I agree it's a simplistic point but it was offered as an illustration of the vast amount spent rather than a serious solution to reorganisation.

" has privatisation ever improved any large service?"

You may be too young to remember pre-privatisation telecoms, but if anyone suggested we went back to the days when there were only two or three types of phone on offer from one supplier and you had to wait a month to get one installed, they'd be laughed out of town. Ditto pre-privatisation utility companies. Imagine being told you could only buy a gas cooker from one retailer.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 22-Jul-13 11:04:55

"Give me evidence that the NHS needs a fundamental overhaul."

I think the increasing regularity of discovery after shock discovery that yet another PCT has been covering up poor behaviour and closing ranks is very worrying. Complaints about GPs are rising. As patients we have no realistic alternative to the NHS services on offer. We can't 'vote with our feet' unless we're prepared to pay for the privilege.

somebloke123 Mon 22-Jul-13 11:08:42

Well for any other non-military organisation, 13000 dead might be considered pretty conclusive evidence of the need for a fundamental overhaul, starting with the sacking of the CEO.

The quasi-religious reverence in which the NHS is held in this country cannot be a healthy thing IHMO. (Praising the NHS to the rafters is one of the sure-fire ways of getting a cheap round of applause on Question Time of ANy Questions.) NHS worship was of course recently on display in the Olympics opening ceremony.

This also scares of all political parties from addressing its fundamental problems.

On most international studies, the NHS doesn't come particularly high in the league tables, around 14th out of about 30 European countries IIRC.

It seems to me to be complacent in the extreme to think we cannot learn from other countries that seem to do it better, possible examples being France, Netherlands, Singapore, Australia.

Cookiepants Mon 22-Jul-13 11:24:14

Privatisation (or part privatisation ) of the NHS would be a disaster for anyone who has ever been to see their GP. Any pre-existing condition would not be covered. Women of child bearing age would pay a fortune for maternity cover . Since having a baby is not an accident or emergency wink free at the point of need would not apply. A&E would be free if you were in a car crash but if you need long term rehab or continuing care you would be pretty stuffed !

A little example: an ICU bed costs around £2000 -£3000 a day in staff equipment and consumable. Average length of stay is 4 days ( though can be much much longer). So one person can use up a family of fours yearly "allowance" in less than a week.

The NHS is far from perfect, but changing the focus from health to shareholder profit is not how to fix it.

MrJudgeyPants Mon 22-Jul-13 11:37:21

Hmm, things that are better post privatisation... Ok, telephony, energy companies, heavy goods transportation, cross channel ferries, airlines, mobile phone providers, travel agents and Triumph motorbikes immediately spring mind. Similarly, great private industries which were destroyed by nationalisation include Austin cars, British coal, the railways, the entire British aircraft industry and shipbuilding.

I think that the main argument against privatisation is the complete balls ups that recent governments have created, such as the fiasco that is the railways or the post office (splitting parcels from mail was grossly incompetent). Most privatisations are barely noticed - my local council outsourced refuse collection many years ago and there was never a drop in standards.

40ShillingsOnTheDrum Mon 22-Jul-13 11:43:35

Deaths & using money to cover them up, deflect blame etc. of course never happens when companies run things hmm

ttosca Mon 22-Jul-13 11:55:40

> I think the increasing regularity of discovery after shock discovery that yet another PCT has been covering up poor behaviour and closing ranks is very worrying. Complaints about GPs are rising. As patients we have no realistic alternative to the NHS services on offer. We can't 'vote with our feet' unless we're prepared to pay for the privilege.

Firstly, before the Tory scum got their hands on the NHS, satisfaction with the NHS was at a historical high:

NHS satisfaction 'at record high'

GP writing a prescription Two thirds of the British public are satisfied with the NHS


Public satisfaction with the NHS has reached record levels, according to a leading health economist.

Writing on the BMJ website, Professor John Appleby said 64% of people were either very or quite satisfied with the NHS.

Critics have questioned why the government is reorganising the NHS when the public is happy with it.



You will now continue to see more disasters and more complaints whilst the NHS is has its funding cut and is being privatized and sold off to the chums of MPs.

Cookiepants Mon 22-Jul-13 12:01:59

MrJudgeyPants all your examples of things that have got better through privatisation are things that need to be paid for !

If you can't afford a mobile phone, ferry crossing, holiday, motorbike etc, you don't get one. If you don't pay utilities you get cut off...

Food at the supermarket is more expensive than ever before and a good chunk of that is due to increased transport costs (haulage).

Now apply the above to chemo, hip replacements and drugs for long term conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Can't afford, don't get is a horrific prospect.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 22-Jul-13 12:21:28

"64% of people were either very or quite satisfied "

If M&S got those approval figures the CEO would be out on his backside. 36%... over a third of the population... are not satisfied with their only source of health-care That's terrible

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 22-Jul-13 12:25:09

"Can't afford, don't get is a horrific prospect."

Outsourcing services has nothing to do with what patients can afford but what the state can afford. If outsourcing means the state can afford better services or more services than they can provide in-house, I don't see the problem

ttosca Mon 22-Jul-13 12:29:17

Majority of public satisfied with NHS, survey finds

Over 60 per cent of the public are satisfied with the way the NHS runs, according to a survey of British social attitudes published today.

Public satisfaction with the NHS stabilised last year after a 'record fall' in 2011, finds a survey published by The King’s Fund.

The 2011 fall - from 70 per cent in 2010 to 58 per cent - coincided with the first year of the NHS' spending squeeze and sustained media coverage about the Government’s NHS reforms.


lljkk Netherlands Mon 22-Jul-13 12:29:47

I seem to recall (this came up on Any Questions) that the 13,000 was over so many years and so many hospitals, it worked out as 2 additional deaths per week at any of the institutions. Most those people were already very ill, what we're talking about in a lot of cases is premature death, not that they should have gone on to die of something else many years later instead.

I wouldn't mind a co-pay system at all, but that doesn't need to mean privatisation at all.

Cookiepants Mon 22-Jul-13 12:37:14

Private means profit, what private company would offer anything less?

Health care cannot be 'profitable' because however much money is spent the end result is the same. Nobody lives forever, but some have a better quality of life than others.

To make the most profit, companies would need people to die before they used up too many resources.

Procedures like hip and cataract surgery can be done in vast numbers for a good profit. Private companies would be happy to outsource these and charge the state, but care of the elderly and all the other 'boring' 'expensive' areas would be left to the state.

It already happens with hip replacements. The NHS is outsourcing the surgery to cut waiting lists but any complications and the patient is bounced back to the NHS. The private company gets their fee and the NHS gets the bill cleaning up their mistakes hmm

EmilyAlice Mon 22-Jul-13 12:48:14

I think the point is that you could have a service like the French one, but every single person would have to pay more in NI contributions, which are far higher than the UK, and in top-up insurance.
Would people be prepared to do that?

MrJudgeyPants Tue 23-Jul-13 00:48:57

Christ on a Kawasaki, how many people on this board actually understand what I'm suggesting? I am NOT suggesting that we abolish the NHS and replace it with an American style health system. What I am suggesting is that we continue to fund healthcare through taxation but rather than SPEND that money through the one-size-fits-all NHS, we open up the provision of services to private businesses. There has been no suggestion from me that the principle of 'free at the point of use' should be any different from what we have now.

When there is a plurality of providers (aka competition) the patient can choose which service provider they go with. If hospital A has a poor record with hygiene the patient can choose to go to hospital B. If enough people do this, hospital A closes down and another company, with better ideas, takes over its running. If the privatisation is thought through properly - something that I accept has been hit and miss in the past - the NHS would be nothing more than a big procurement department.

Likewise, some of the more egregious things that happened at mid-staffs wouldn't happen because a) a plurality of providers means the scale of coverups would be smaller, b) there would be other potential employers for whistleblowers c) any errant 'franchise' holders who don't match up to government standards can be stripped of that franchise and the operation of the hospital awarded to a rival in an easier manner and finally d) privatisation is one of the most effective ways of pruning back empire building managerial rent-seekers.

The NHS already outsources much of its work and has done since it was created so there is no need to feel squeamish at the thought of evil capitalists making a profit. Remember, any drugs that a doctor prescribes are bought in from the private sector, as are bandages, as are the various bits of office supplies and stationery. No one would seriously suggest that the NHS should have its own paper mill to make paper to print prescriptions on - if it makes sense to outsource care, where is the problem?

Finally, Ttosca makes the point that in 2010, 70% of people were satisfied with the NHS. Even when things were going well more than 1 in 4 of us thought it was a bit shit. So, even though the NHS patches you up free of charge (at the point of use) nearly a third of people were still not satisfied with the system!

nooka Tue 23-Jul-13 01:17:57

I would suspect that is because most people have no experience of other systems and no comprehension of the cost of their care. Of course that's not to say that there haven't been or continue to be cock ups or that communication is always good (I used to manage a NHS complaints and risk management department so have no illusions there).

But there is a permanent misperception that the NHS would run or so much better if it wasn't managed (all systems need managing and the NHS spends less than most). all healthcare systems are worried about costs, and all have significant exposure to adverse events (some talk about it more than others of course).

Also I think people don't understand one of the biggest stresses on the NHS, that is there are too many hospitals, but whenever it is suggested some close there is a huge stink and some ineffective and expensive compromise is adopted instead, with poorer clinical quality and greater cost.

The privatize and let them sink or swim approach is all very well, but what if it is you or your friends/family at the crap place that is just waiting to fail? For many people there is little or no choice about where to go simply because of geography and few have the information to make good decisions about who to be treated by and where.

My final point is that where services have been commissioned the costs often go up and the service frequently declines. Think about all those contracted out cleaners where infection control was compromised or the waiting list cuts made at significant expense (plus some of the services had serious quality concerns). Of course plenty of private contractors did very well indeed, but that's not really the aim of a public healthcare system is it?

^ If enough people do this, hospital A closes down and another company, with better ideas, takes over its running^ all sounds lovely in principle. However why not make sure each hospital meets a minimum standard, not leave them to the "forces of the markets". Tescos don't do it that way - they make sure all their stores are of a certain standard and they close them if they don't make a profit. Not quite the same as what you propose.

ttosca Wed 24-Jul-13 13:51:12

I don't think anyone trusts the Tories to open up the NHS to a French-style system, Judgey. I certainly don't.

Why should we give politicians the benefit of the doubt that they're trying to improve the NHS for patients, rather than bankroll their themselves and their mates through privatization?

MrJudgeyPants Wed 24-Jul-13 19:54:47

I totally understand your concerns Ttosca - many privatisations, especially some of the more recent ones - have been totally bollocksed up! As you know, I am an ardent free marketeer, so hopefully you'll give me some credit for saying that privatising the railways was an act of gross stupidity and, the way things are looking, privatising the mail is heading the same way too. However, if done properly, I believe that the 'customer facing' part of the NHS could be successfully privatised.

The major benefit to privatisation isn't changing the ownership structure, it's introducing a plurality of competition. Quite simply, the more the merrier. Opening up the NHS to literally hundreds of service providers reduces the profit available (and the benefits) to bung a corrupt politician. It also allows for a grand experiment where some providers will be plc's, some may be mutuals and some may be workers collectives. As I say, let the market decide.

As I've suggested up thread, the role of the NHS would be to become a procurement service. If the price of services is a) still set by the government and b)the same for all providers, the only method of competition between those providers is to raise standards for patients - whether that is in the relatively minor way of improving hospital food, or the major way of improving cleanliness or investing in better technology. Perhaps most importantly of all, it would de-politicise the NHS so that hospitals can once again concentrate on serving their communities without excessive governmental interference.

MiniTheMinx Thu 25-Jul-13 17:16:32

I don't really get why you are trying to convince people Mr P that we would benefit from competition and the free market in health. We already have this. The way is clear for more and more providers to tender for what they consider profitable services.

But what about person health budgets? are we in favour of those I wonder?

What is the purpose of running pilot schemes and might these budgets be eventually rolled out to all of us? Could these budgets become meagre as the cost of living rises and the economy flatlines again? is this the way in which the American Health Insurance companies get their greedy paws on our lives?

purpledolphin Sun 28-Jul-13 18:44:32

What is not widely reported in the news are the failing private hospitals, the out of hours fiasco run by private health care, I suggest anyone interested in the not reported news about what happens when we have privatised health care takes a look at the national health action partys website www.nationalhealthaction.org.uk/ , Sadly if the US free trade agreement does not excude health there will be no way to re nationalise our healthcare system which in my view is being bled dry by private companies but read for your self and make your own minds up ... but if you come to the conclusion that you are worried about this I would urge you to sign here: epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/47102

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