Views And Reviews Personal View

The people’s NHS: time for a new hypothesis?

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: (Published 12 September 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4934
  1. Julian Tudor Hart, retired GP
  1. Wales
  1. juliantudorhart1927{at}

No elected government can afford to be seen evading its duty to the NHS; so a plausible scapegoat must be found

Until the BMA rejected the contract imposed on junior doctors in NHS England by the government, negotiations were conducted in conventional diplomatic terms—based on a hypothesis that all contestants played an open hand and meant what they said, without covert motives.

More than half (58%) of junior doctors have now said that they are no longer willing to pretend that they believe this conventional hypothesis. Discussion should now include other more plausible hypotheses.

Since 2008, we have entered a time of profound instability and change. My lifetime roughly coincides with the conception, birth, and extremely prolonged adolescence of the NHS (I believe that no government so far has allowed it to reach maturity).

Its birth, through the NHS …

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