Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Analysis And Comment

Democratic control is essential

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 27 July 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:251

Rapid Response:

Suffering from files

Dear 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 Nye 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 Sir Walter
Citrine: “poor fellow, he suffers from files.”(2)


Dr Sarah Farrow.

1. Thornton S. Democratic control is essential. BMJ 2006;333:251-252

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

31 July 2006
Sarah J Farrow
Specialist Registrar in Rheumatology and Medicine
University Hospital Lewisham, Lewisham High Street. London SE13 6LH