Andy Burnham on the challenges for the NHS over the next few years.
Simple repeal of the reviled Health Act 2012 cannot be an end in itself. What is needed is a clear vision of an alternative approach to make our care system better. We need to repeal it and replace it with something better. A vision of healthcare which is not about a consumer approach to health. You can’t buy health. You can only buy treatment. A market for treatment may lead to to more treatment, maybe – lets be optimistic – even cheaper and better treatment, but its not likely to lead to better health.
Patient choice isn’t a bad idea, but its not a principle to organise health services round. Most of the money is spent on people who are too ill to be making choices. Anxious people are easily persuaded they should have more treatment, but most medical intervention has bad effects as well as good. What you may need most is reassurance. Introducing more profit-motivated providers undermines trust between patients and clinicians. If you think you are being denied treatment to save someone money that won’t help.
A guide to the NHS reforms 2012
- Text of the Act
- Nigel Edwards: how Lansley’s big vision got shredded (HSJ paywall)
- Condition still critical
- Comprehensive guides to the NHS proposals Dr Jonathan Tomlinson
- Richard Blogger’s analysis of the Bill
- Health Professionals for the NHS
- Andy Burnham vows to repeal the Health and Social Care Act, and to reverse Part 3