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

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Disposable sections of the White Paper

It is interesting that today the FT is reporting that Oliver Letwin has been asked to troubleshoot the government's health policy. There appears to be a lot of worry in the government that Lansley is pushing too hard on his re-organisation of the NHS and letting the day to day running of the service slip. This concerns everyone in the country since the government's cuts could push the NHS into crisis just at the time when the most vulnerable will need it most. That worries the government because they will be seen as being incompetent with the NHS, that the NHS is not safe in their hands. This will undo the careful detoxification of the Conservative party which was instrumental in gaining them the share of the vote that they did.

Further, there are concerns that no one quite knows what Lansley is doing, neither the government, nor the public:
One Number 10 insider said: "There is no change in the policy. But Oliver is starting to ask all the important questions that need answers." Another added: "Andrew [Lansley] has all the answers when he is asked the questions about how the implementation of all this will work. We are just not sure they are the right ones."
Interestingly, the strength of the opposition to these plans appear to have shaken Lansley, who the FT quotes:
"It does not mean that we will do everything in the way that we first suggested in the white paper. This is a major reform. There are aspects of implementation of the reform that people have made comments on, and we will take them on board."
The question is: what parts of the white paper is Lansley intending to drop?

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