Health Policy

Betraying the NHS: health abandoned by Michael Mandelstam

By Michael Mandelstam

In line with his reviews of assisting to struggle cuts and closures in Suffolk, Michael Mandelstam offers a damning verdict at the mismanagement of the NHS at nationwide, nearby and native point. He charts the frequent cutbacks and closures, either rural and concrete, to clinics, A&E companies, beds, wards and rankings of neighborhood hospitals. He outlines how humane care, really for older humans, is compromised by means of the ruthless decision of NHS administration to extend sufferer throughput and hit government-set pursuits. the writer highlights how the chaotic switch to the NHS is being pushed by means of hid agendas - together with privatisation of the NHS, obsessive interference from crucial govt and good as selective use, if no longer abandonment, of evidence-based perform. heavily unsuitable and harmful judgements are the end result, affecting the inhabitants at huge in addition to these so much weak - older individuals with continual and complicated wishes, individuals with actual or studying disabilities and other people with psychological illnesses. specially, he exposes the scandalous loss of transparency and responsibility at the back of alterations that threaten to spoil the NHS.

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Briefing. London: King’s Fund. ’ Daily Mail, 2 September 2005. ’ Independent, 18 January 2006. 11. ’ Daily Telegraph, 19 January 2006. 38 BETRAYING THE NHS it appeared that central government ordered strategic health authorities (the regional puppets of central government) to crack down on spending. Turned on with reckless abandon before the election, the financial tap was indeed now being turned off but the targets still had to be hit, as well as other policies and rules adhered to. As Alan Maynard, Chair of an NHS trust and a health economist, put it: there were so many policies, it was akin to a ‘wheeze 8 a week’.

They have sometimes frayed at the edges but remained recognisable. However, although it claimed to be adhering to these principles, the New Labour government would by 2006 appear to be stretching them to their very limit. Some would say to certain destruction, or at least to a totally unrecognisable form: The NHS is in transition. Its publicly-funded system of publicly-owned and provided health care is being replaced by a healthcare market, in which providers of services compete with private ones for NHS funds, with legal contracts and external regulation replacing direct political accountability.

However, these were viewed as practical problems to be overcome. They did not cast doubt on the new service’s scope and objectives. The White Paper referred also to the need to develop a full homenursing service ‘to ensure that all who need nursing attention in their own homes will be able to obtain it without charge’; likewise rehabilitation services would have to be developed. As to charges, there should by and large be none: as far as individual members of the public are concerned, they will be able to obtain medical advice and treatment of every kind entirely 2 without charge except for the cost of certain appliances.

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