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New line of accountability for the NHS

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7042.1320a (Published 25 May 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:1320

Unveiled recently in the palace of Westminster was a bust of Aneurin Bevan, taking its place in the gallery of parliamentary greats. On an opposite plinth is Rab Butler, a cofounder of the welfare state. Bevan has the distinction among his contemporaries that his enduring memorial—the National Health Service—lives on. At this time 50 years ago the inaugural NHS bill had just embarked on its passage through parliament. Parliament still has not fully resolved its relationship with the NHS. Bevan referred to it when he said that wherever a bedpan was dropped in a ward it reverberated through Whitehall, and that underlying tension between operational and political control remains.

Within the past couple of weeks two parliamentary committees have complained …

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