Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Analysis Essay

Reform reform: an essay by John Oldham

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 20 November 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f6716

Rapid Response:

Re: Reform reform: an essay by John Oldham

John Oldham's essay is interesting but misses the political dimension.

Politicians keep the NHS in a continuous state of reform so that they can hold out the promise to patients (voters) that when the reform cycle is completed all the current shortcomings will be eliminated. This deadline is usually after the date of the next election.

If the NHS is a travelling train it must not be allowed to arrive at the station. If it ever did, to mix metaphors, the people would see that the Emperor had no clothes.

Competing interests: No competing interests

26 November 2013
Peter J O'Donnell
Old Courthouse Surgery, Sutton
Throwley Way Sutton Surrey SM1 4AF