Entries tagged with “David Cameron”.
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Mon 11 Jul 2011
Posted by Helen Evans under NHS Reforms
According to the UK press, this morning Prime Minister David Cameron will announce that many public services, including hospitals, will be run by independent companies, charities and mutual organisations.
For Nurses for Reform this is wonderful news, as regular readers of this blog will know, this is something that we have campaigned since our inception.
Mr Cameron has the future of the NHS in his hands and I urge him strongly not to drop the ball this time. These reforms really are the only way to improve healthcare for NHS funded patients.
Tue 17 May 2011
Posted by Helen Evans under Media, NHS Reforms
This morning I was interviewed on LBC Radio with a GP from the BMA discussing the speech that David Cameron’s made yesterday on the NHS Reforms.
I made several points;
First, David Cameron talked about keeping the values and ethos of the NHS and these reforms are true to that promise as they do not falter from the founding promise that the NHS will be free at the point of use.
Second, David Cameron stated yesterday that these reforms are little new and as such they are an evolution not a revolution. They follow on from the work of Tony Blair’s labour government. Indeed, it was under Labour that from 2000 onwards NHS funded patients could receive surgery, treatment and critical care in the independent sector with 250,000 NHS patients per year entering independent sector hospitals.
Finally, the GP stated that healthcare is not like the high street, that bad hospitals cannot be closed down like bad shops. Well, I would argue that they should be. NFR wants to see failing hospitals taken over by successful organisations or social entrepreneurs so that we no longer hear stories of the elderly dying for lack of water in UK hospitals.
Wed 19 Jan 2011
Posted by Helen Evans under NHS Reforms
After several years of discreet campaigning and going on from NFR’s meeting with David Cameron at the end of 2009, I am reassured by the Health and Social Care Bill to be launched today.
The idea that all NHS hospitals should be given independent foundation status is a good one, the idea that at any time NHS patients can chose to go private and that the NHS will pay providing the service is cheaper than the state, takes us a reasonable way along the road that NFR wants. However, the government still needs to go much further to create a private market in provision that will favour the poorest in our society and not simply the rich, which is what we have had for more than sixty years.
Following on from what I have said previously, no only should there be incentives for trade unions to provide their own not-for-profit healthcare schemes but the government has to press ahead with ending national collective pay bargaining for doctors, nurses and other professionals.
Finally, NHS Foundation Trusts should also be given the freedom to launch their own community top-up schemes. As well as people receiving NHS funded services, people loyal to their local hospitals should be empowered to take out additional health insurance, the profits of which go to their local hospital thereby avoiding any fat cats in the city.
Wed 19 Jan 2011
David Cameron is absolutely right when he states ahead of the launch of today’s Health and Social Care white paper that we cannot afford not to reform the NHS. However, the question that really worries me is that when push comes to shove will he really have the courage to do it?
The NHS is in a dire state with stories hitting the press almost every day about patient neglect and poorly delivered services and as the UK’s financial situation gets worse it is time for the Government to have the courage of their convictions to push through the reforms that are necessary.
We are already seeing vested interest groups such as the NHS Confederation and the Unions condemning the reforms and, as inflation gets worse and interest rates rise, I am sure we will hear voices from Unison and the RCN calling for higher public sector pay rises that will put even more pressure on an NHS that, by the nature of the system, cannot cope.
For Nurses for Reform the following is a list of reforms that David Cameron must push through to give the UK at truly world class healthcare system:
- In the post-bureaucratic age the Secretary of State for Health must no longer have any say over when or where hospitals are built, opened or closed.
- Following the planned changes in education, local planning laws must be reformed so as to enable a much greater diversity of – and investment in – independent provision.
- The planned Independent NHS Board should oversee the return of all UK hospitals to diverse forms of independent ownership (for-profit and not-for-profit).
- Health censorship must be outlawed and patients must be empowered with greater access to information. In this context hospitals, doctors and other health professionals including pharmaceutical suppliers should be free to advertise and build trusted brands. Only by allowing reputations to be built openly, bottom-up will the government be able to realise a lighter touch in regulation.
- To encourage openness, diversity and greater opportunity for staff, employers and patients, an incoming Conservative administration must also adopt the principle of subsidiarity when it comes to human resource management. Hospitals, care homes and all other health facilities should be able to set pay and conditions for staff as they think appropriate and take the lead in all medical and health training. National collective pay bargaining and professional monopolies should be abandoned in favour of a more post-bureaucratic approach.
By putting these key initiatives in place not only will there be a vast improvement in the provision of healthcare but, these changes will enable further micro-political changes to health funding. Overall, these reforms are necessary so that healthcare is pushed through the beneficial reforms that we now enjoy in so many other areas of our daily lives.
Although not going far enough, this is a good start.
Thu 14 Oct 2010
Today is the day when we find out whether David Cameron really has the nerve to deliver on his promises to have a “Bonfire of Quangos” or whether this will be a PR exercise somewhat akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic where we see lots of mergers but no real changes!
NFR believes that we are at a turning point with the way that healthcare is delivered in the UK. If the coalition government do not have the will to abolish such time and money wasting quangos as the Health Protection Agency what hope is there that they will have the courage to push through the much needed market-oriented reforms that will take the NHS from being a failing service to a more customer focused system.
Thu 7 Oct 2010
This is a truly shocking story reporting the views of the Chief Medical Officer of Wales Dr Tony Jewel. He has stated that people should be banned from smoking in their own homes to protect children from the effects of passive smoking.
His remarks give me real cause for concern. First, there has been a wealth of research questioning the so-called dangers of passive smoking. Second, this is a gross invasion of private property. What does he propose is done to enforce this ban? Government CCTV cameras in everyone’s home? !
Sun 29 Aug 2010
Posted by Helen Evans under NHS Failure
It is interesting how during August when many people have their eye off the ball the realities of government policy are quietly revealed. This story demonstrates that, despite its pre-election promises, David Cameron’s government are not committed to providing cancer drugs to those in desperate need.
In fact as this article demonstrates the goal posts are being moved constantly, the budget for cancer drugs is being revised downwards and only a fraction of people with cancer will receive the life prolonging drugs that they need.
Tue 23 Feb 2010
Posted by Helen Evans under NHS Reforms
This is a fantastic article by my friend and colleague Stephen Pollard welcoming David Cameron’s announcement that the Conservative Party, if they win the forthcoming general election, will allow public sector workers to run the services that they work in as co-operatives. In truth this project will probably start in education but is likely to very quickly spread to healthcare services.
This is a real step in the right direction as far as Nurses for Reform is concerned. As regular readers of this blog will recall, we have always championed the rediscovery of the UK’s wonderful history of mutual and co-operative funding and provision of healthcare and we are so happy that David Cameron and his Conservative Party are taking on our policy ideas (here, here and here).
For NFR the saddest part of this is that the people who should be welcoming the empowerment of their members more any other are against it Unite, the largest public sector union have been publicly condemning this move. Well, shame on them. They have now demonstrated that they are far more interested in playing politics than really looking after the interests of their members and the workers that they claim to represent.
Unite and indeed the Labour Party must welcome this policy, they have to see this as a triumph for their ideas.
Wed 13 Jan 2010
Since the recent meeting with David Cameron Nurses for Reform has attracted a vast amount of media attention. Perhaps most importantly we have also picked up lots of new support from registered nurses who have decided to formally sign up and support the organisation. Appalled by the horrific realities of state run healthcare many nurses have clearly been relieved to finally find an organisation that spells out some home truths about the NHS and campaigns to put the long term interests of patients first.
On the media front, NFR has been reported in The Daily Telegraph. We have also been reported in The Mirror, here, here and here . And we have been reported on major UK political blogs – such as Samizdata and the Adam Smith Institute .
There have been numerous other blogs about the organisation – including Liberal Conspiracy, Labourlist , and Tom Harris MP’s blog (to detail just a few) – and early this week I was interviewed by the Nursing Standard (readers will be able to see the result of this when the NS gets around to publishing it in a few weeks).
The really heartening thing about this episode is the dozens of nurses who have signed up to support NFR and what we stand for. Their emails and messages of support characteristically represent a profession who are tired of being gagged by politicians and misrepresented by the usual political class types at Unison and the Royal College of Nursing.
On the down side, NFR is mindful that many people in the UK and Europe still do not get how hostile the organisation is to American state healthcare. In failing to understand that the US government spends more on Medicare, Medicaid and S-Chip than the Pentagon spends on the military, it would be helpful if some of our detractors at least read this NFR article on why America does not have a free market healthcare system and therefore why NFR is hostile to the American healthcare system.
Fri 18 Dec 2009
I am pleased to confirm that earlier this week I had an interesting hour with Tory leader David Cameron in his private office in the House of Commons. I had been invited by him to discuss NFR’s ideas on the future of health policy and presented a range of ideas. Amongst others, these included the end of national collective pay bargaining for nurses and doctors, the view that the state should not own or have any of its agents manage hospitals, a world of widespread health advertising (to overcome problems of patient ignorance through trusted brands) and a dramatic liberalisation of hospital planning laws. On this latter point, central government should have no say in when and where any hospital is opened or closed. If he becomes Prime Minister I have no doubt NFR will meet with him and his policy team again. But whatever happens, he can rest assured that NFR will remain very much on the outside of his – and any other party political – tent. As a libertarian organisation, NFR has a profound mistrust of all politicians. As such, we will remain dangerous and continue to think the unthinkable.