NHS news review

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The Lib-Dems [edit: Con-Dems] are announcing an extension of “choice” in the NHS. What this means in actuality is an increase in privatised provision under the Any Qualified Provider scheme formally [edit: formerly] known as Any Willing Provider.

Dr Hamish Meldrum, Chairman of Council at the BMA comments

“We support greater choice for patients, although in an NHS with finite resources it will always be limited. What we would question is the assumption that increasing competition necessarily means improved choice. When competition results in market failure in the NHS, the ultimate consequence is the closure of services, and the restriction of choice for the patients who would have wished to use them.”

The concept of “Chice” as proposed by the Lib-Dems and by Blair previously is far from the simple concept of choice implied by freedom of choice. Do you still have choice in the case of one option or none?

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.

Patients to get choice of providers – Health News, Health & Families – The Independent

Patients will be given a choice of providers for mental health and community NHS services, the Government has announced.

The move, which opponents argue will lead to an increasingly privatised NHS, comes into force from next April and covers services worth millions of pounds.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said it was “a big day for patients”, who will be able to choose care from providers who meet NHS standards on quality, price and contracts.

Providers will compete to offer services and are likely to include private companies, charities and voluntary organisations, as well as the NHS.

Eight NHS areas – including musculoskeletal services for back pain, adult hearing services in the community, wheelchair services for children and talking therapies for adults – are being opened up for competition.

A minimum of three services must be offered in each area of England by September 2012.

The concept of “any qualified provider” has caused huge controversy, with opponents saying it represents privatisation of the health service.

Private sector firms invited to bid for £1bn slice of NHS – Health News, Health & Families – The Independent

NHS services costing about £1bn are to be opened up to competition, the Health Secretary said yesterday.

Patients will be offered a choice of provider, including private companies and charities, across eight services including those for back and neck pain, wheelchair services for children and talking therapies for patients with stress and depression, Andrew Lansley said.

Later, further specialities may be included under the “any qualified provider” provision in the Health and Social Care Bill, raising alarm about the privatisation of the health service.

BBC News – NHS competition extended to community care

Patients are getting greater choice over a host of community services as part of the government push to increase competition in the NHS in England.

Choice is already available over the full range of hospital operations.

But ministers now want that extended to treatments such as podiatry, hearing services and counselling from 2012.

It will lead to greater opportunities for charities, social enterprises and private firms to get NHS work – prompting accusations of privatisation.


27/11/13 Having received a takedown notice from the Independent newspaper for a different posting, I have reviewed this article which links to an article at the Independent’s website in order to attempt to ensure conformance with copyright laws.

I consider this posting to comply with copyright laws since
a. Only a small portion of the original article has been quoted satisfying the fair use criteria, and / or
b. This posting satisfies the requirements of a derivative work.

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