Views & Reviews Review of the Week

When Blair went to market

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39406.535451.59 (Published 22 November 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:1100
  1. Tony Delamothe, deputy editor, BMJ
  1. tdelamothe{at}bmj.com

    Blair's Damascene conversion to market forces was one of the many differences he had with Gordon Brown, a new television series has shown. Where does that leave the NHS under Blair's rival, asks Tony Delamothe

    Explicitly about the relationship between former prime minister Tony Blair and his chancellor, Gordon Brown, this programme provided an interesting insight into some of the key moments of the Blair government's relationship with the NHS. It also gave some hints as to what to expect from the Brown government.

    First off was Blair bouncing Brown into providing five years of 5% annual increases in the NHS budget, which would bring UK spending up to the European average. Blair chose Sir David Frost's television programme for his momentous announcement one Sunday morning in January 2000. Minutes after the programme “Number 10 hit the phones.” It being a Sunday, all the facts and figures were locked up in Whitehall offices. About the time the Department of Health's chief economist had made the …

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