May. 17th, 2013

NHS

May. 17th, 2013 03:35 pm
liv: cast iron sign showing etiolated couple drinking tea together (argument)
This post is full of UK political detail; please feel free to skip if that's totally irrelevant to you!

So I was chatting to a senior academic who works in health policy and she mentioned that about a third of the people who used to have senior roles in the now-abolished Primary Care Trusts have resigned. Some on ideological grounds because they strongly disagree with the political climate regarding health and social care, some just in disgust at having put all that work into building up the PCTs and making them function well, only to have the whole system swept away and replaced by something new. I was already pretty worried about the NHS situation, but hearing that from an insider has definitely reinforced that.

Then I went to a talk by Prof Paton, a political scientist, about the political context in which our health reforms are taking place. I shall write up some of my notes, because I think people other than me might find some of this interesting, though it's admittedly speculative, it's too soon for anyone to do a serious academic analysis of an Act that's only a few weeks old.

Prof Paton on the Health and Social Care Act, as interpreted by me )

I am so very much not a natural Labour voter, for a large number of reasons. And I'm really angry with the party for lying to Parliament and to us about weapons of mass destruction and committing our troops to an illegal war in Iraq with massive loss of civilian life. In spite of this, I am sort of considering voting Labour because the NHS is such a huge issue for me. But Paton kind of confirmed my impression that Labour really don't have a great track record on the NHS recently (even though, yes, the NHS was a Labour policy under Attlee's government in the 40s; that was a long time ago, though!) And the promise to repeal the damaging H&SCA sounds like it's probably not worth much, though I'm not going to base my voting decisions purely on one talk by one guy, just because he happens to have an academic title. But I don't know whom I can vote for to mitigate the threat to a functioning, truly national, truly public NHS, even if I make that my sole voting issue.

Soundbite

Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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