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Liberal Democrat MP Andrew George points out that the proposed NHS ‘reforms’ are remarkably unchanged through the ‘listening exercise’. A poll shows that the Conservatives and Liberal-Democrats are regarded poorly.

Conservative election poster 2010

A few recent news articles concerning the UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat coalition government – the ConDem’s – brutal attack on the National Health Service.

‘New’ NHS reforms a lot like the old reforms | Left Foot Forward

For those who, like I, had strongly criticised the government’s Health and Social Care Bill and campaigned against the government’s plans, the unprecedented “pause” and “listening exercise” was an encouraging success. Then last week’s Future Forum report represented a welcome step forward.

However, what is emerging from the government’s response is disappointing. It leaves many of the previous concerns – about the risk of a marketised NHS, a missed opportunity to better streamline health and social care and a lack of accountability – still unresolved.

Whether it is the intention of ministers or not is unclear, but it seems that the government will perpetuate rather than resolve the risk posed by the private sector to core NHS services.

In particular:

• Although, as before, Monitor will not “promote” competition, the new NHS Commissioning Board will have an enhanced role in driving competition;

• The proposals weaken the ability of commissioners to treat core NHS services as their “preferred provider”;

• It enhances the opportunities for private sector providers as “choice” gains pre-eminence over integration; and

• Although commissioning bodies will not be able to delegate their responsibility for commissioning decisions to private companies, all other aspects of their role in managing and delivering those decisions can be.

David Cameron’s popularity rating drops while Liberal Democrats’ slumps | Politics | The Guardian

David Cameron‘s personal popularity has dropped, and the Liberal Democrats‘ poll rating has hit its lowest level for 14 years, a Guardian/ICM survey has revealed.

Overall, hostility to the coalition has grown sharply, with 50% of voters saying the government is doing a bad job and only 35% saying it is doing a good job – a net rating of -15%. That is 10 points worse than March and 38 down on June last year, when the coalition was enjoying a honeymoon.

The poll was carried out at the weekend after a difficult few days for the coalition, dominated by the relaunch of the NHS plans and announcements of industrial action by several public sector unions.


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