Commissioning will cost £1.3bn less every year under GP consortiums, says LansleyBMJ 2011; 342 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d418 (Published 20 January 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d418
All rapid responses
On this week's cover you ask if the NHS can survive.
The central purpose of health policy of governments for the last
three decades has been the stealthy destruction/privatisation of
healthcare. It is as though they start from the initial presumption that
the NHS is a problem to be solved rather than an asset to be continually
burnished and, like a dog at a bone, none of the parties will leave it
alone until it is quite dead.
To the indifferent observer the provision of a national, coherent,
collaborative, full spectrum health service is no more than a mark of
societal progress. The relief from the fear of illness, injury, suffering
and death remains as civilised an onjective as it has ever been. It is not
a topic upon which politicians need to dwell in truth.
The bovine passivity of the bulk of the electorate ensures that the
process of destruction will proceed. Then, in due course, the cycle will
start again as the deficiencies, so often and so well rehearsed in the BMJ
amongst other publications, of the private provision of healthcare become
too dire to hide.
The BMA should certainly continue to strive for progressive
healthcare policies and all the while keep score of the problems as they
Currently, I am awaiting a reply from my MP to an email:
A technical legal question:
When a consortium or foundation hospital's funds prove insufficient,
where will liability lie for the consequences of treatment delayed,
disrupted or denied?
I gather, that failing organisations may sometimes be taken over by
other providers. How would they feature in this scenario?
When an answer appears I will forward it.
Competing interests: I stood in the 2010 election as an Independent - the NHS being one of my main foci.