Letters

Private finance scheme for Worcester

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.321.7267.1016 (Published 21 October 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:1016

Journal has not presented balanced picture of modern health planning

  1. B McCloskey, director of public health (Brian.McCloskey@wha.worcester-ha.wmids.nhs.uk)
  1. Worcestershire Health Authority, Worcester WR4 9RW
  2. Kidderminster Hospital Campaign and Health Concern, PO Box 1823, Kidderminster DY10 6WZ

    EDITOR—Ferriman's news item on Worcestershire's service reconfiguration1 failed to reflect a balanced view of the inaccuracies in the report Deficits before Patients.2 This lack of balance reflects a consistent bias against the private finance initiative in the BMJ.

    The details are probably not of interest to most of the journal's readers. But it is important to note that several claims made in the report about the rising cost of the private finance initiative hospital in Worcester and the reduction in bed numbers are inaccurate.

    Two points in the debate do merit wider discussion. Why do we still measure the health service by the number of acute beds when service provision has moved so far beyond that narrow view? Our local strategy is based on a holistic view of health care that integrates primary, intermediate, and secondary care. We use community hospital and nursing home beds as a key part of our overall service for ill patients, yet we …

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