Saturday, 14 May 2011

Chair of NHS 'listening' exercise: competition-led provision may destroy services

After the hammering the Liberal Democrats received in the local elections, their newly strident tone on the NHS reforms (which, let's not forget, they had supported mere months earlier) looks likely to derail Lansley's vision for a quasi-free market health system.

However, if Lansley and other members of the Tory Party had hoped that they could ignore Lib Dem pressure and ensure that the listening exercise would be a pause and not much more, then today's news that the man chairing the consultation process, Steve Field, has attacked the original proposals as having the potential to "destroy essential services" will not be welcome.

He is, of course, correct - a free-market, competition-led approach to health care provision would both fragment the health service in this country and has been demonstrated to be an approach that will result in a system that is less fair and - crucially - less efficient.  

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