Intended for healthcare professionals

Editor's Choice

Sleepwalking into the market

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f1850 (Published 20 March 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f1850
  1. Fiona Godlee, editor, BMJ
  1. fgodlee{at}bmj.com

Next week on 1 April, England’s National Health Service takes what may be an irrevocable step. Sixty five years after the legislation that established a publicly funded, publicly provided, and publicly accountable health service, new regulations come into force that will gradually open up the NHS in England to increasing competition by private providers. Will this overwhelmingly improve the service to patients and the public, as some people claim? Or will it lead gradually but inexorably to the dismantling of the NHS for profit, as others fear, and as Lucy Reynolds claims on bmj.com (doi:10.1136/bmj.f1848)? The truth may of course be …

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