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

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Franchising of the NHS

The Government is keen to break the NHS apart and scatter the pieces to the wind. Pulse now report that commissioning of care could be handed over to charities and pressure groups.
"Pulse has learned that at least one major charity has already held preliminary discussions with the Department of Health about taking on a commissioning role. It is understood the DH is sympathetic to the idea in principle, although it would be GPs’ choice whether or not to enter into such commissioning partnerships."
I have a chronic condition and I am a member of charity that is a support group for this condition. Do I want them commissioning my care? No. You may think this is an odd position, since surely a support group would want the best possible care for me? Yes, but they also want the moon on a stick. I recognise that it is possible to spend an unlimited amount of money on my care, I also recognise that often as you spend more you get less improvements, and there is a careful balance. I want my doctor to make these decisions, I want my GP to be my friend and advocate. I want my doctor to make the best decisions for me.

(A year or so ago I looked into how to get more involved in the governance of the charity and I found that it was inordinately difficult. Basically, the charity makes sure that only the "right" people can have governance positions. I am happy with that when it is simply a support group, but if they were to be commissioning my care then I would want to see far better, and more representative, governance.)

Handing over such commissioning to charities is heading for disaster.

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