"The NHS will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it"
Aneurin Bevan

Thursday, 5 August 2010

There's no NHS ring fence

I have railed about this before, but I think I have to keep repeating it until people start to listen: there is no NHS ring fence.

The NHS is the public service, publicly owned, paid out of general taxation. The funding for the NHS, the publicly owned service, is being severely squeezed by this disgracefully dishonest government. And then mantra of this government is that what is a loss for the public sector is a gain for the private sector. NHS hospitals are being purposely pushed towards bankruptcy by Lansley's plans while with the other hand he is handing public money over to the private sector and opening up the system to co-pay.

Take for example this news story:

"Up to 600 jobs are to go at Reading's Royal Berkshire Hospital (RBH) by 2015 to save £60m, the BBC has learnt. Chief executive Edward Donald said the hospital still needed to save millions even though funding for the NHS as a whole was being ring-fenced."
So what we are seeing here are cuts to an NHS hospital and the wheeling out that bizarre statement that NHS funding is "ring fenced"? If it is "ring fenced" then why are the cuts necessary? Why does RBH have to cut £60m and where will that money go?

Oh and who could take seriously a Chief Executive who makes such a glaring grammatical error as this?

"Mr Donald said the hospital would be looking at what it could do differently "to get through the same amount of work but with less people"."

I know it is pedantic, but it is a basic rule of English grammar: if you can count it, then use fewer. If he does not know that, then no wonder he's been hoodwinked into thinking that there is a "ring fence".

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