An independent NHS?: Suffering from files

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.333.7563.354-c (Published 10 August 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:354
  1. Sarah J Farrow, specialist registrar in rheumatology and medicine (sfarrow{at}doctors.org.uk)
  1. University Hospital Lewisham, London SE13 6LH

    EDITOR—Thornton says that we shouldn't remove the NHS from politics—he says that the NHS wouldn't exist today without politicians like Nye Bevan.1 He thinks that more democratic commissioning—perhaps even from local government—could increase NHS accountability and at the same time give more freedom to clinicians. Can we really square the circle in this way?

    Or would this idea become just another initiative leading nowhere but more bureaucracy and an even higher paper mountain? What would Bevan say to the range of initiatives that the NHS has gone through in the past 10 years? Here's what he said about a contemporary administrator: “Poor fellow, he suffers from files.”2


    • Competing interests None declared.


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