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

Sunday, 29 January 2012

The unacceptable is now acceptable

If you think the Health and Social Care Bill will be an NHS that is better for patients, then think again.

Sir David Nicholson, the Chief Executive of the NHS and now of the unaccountable super-quango, the NHS Commissioning Board, said last year:

"If you've got a long-term condition, you might want to think in future about different GPs and whether they're providing a full range of service for that condition." 

Reflect on what he said. What he didn’t say was "the NHS reforms will guarantee that you will get the care that you need". He is saying the exact opposite. He says that it is acceptable for CCGs not to authorise the services we need. That is an admission that Lansley is creating an incompetent and unfair system where it is the responsibility of patients to find the care they need.

It is appalling. If you have a long term condition, every GP should provide the full range of services you need. The statement from Sir David Nicholson says that you have to be a healthcare consumer and "shop around" for your care. This is simply not possible for most patients. Think about it. When you feel ill the last thing you want is to browse the options and ask for quotes as if you are getting your kitchen painted. You want to rely on the NHS to provide the services that you need and anything less is not acceptable. Sir David is saying that to him, and to the government, the unacceptable is acceptable.


  1. This is just ridiculous. What about those of us with multiple long-term conditions? It's quite possible I'm the only person in the country - certainly for a long way - with my particular collection of ailments. What happens if there are *no* GPs who can provide for me and my healthcare needs?

  2. good example of the manifold implications of this 'never mind the details' piece of work. i mean, moving everybody with a condition to one locality might make sense but it's not like we've discussed it...

  3. @Funky Mango,

    You will be a "healthcare consumer" and will be expected to behave as if you are installing a new kitchen. If you like the cupboards in the quote from one company, but prefer the cooker from the quote in another, you'll have to decide between which you could live with: the lesser cooker, or the lesser cupboards.

    Now rather than cupboards and cooker, insert your medical conditions and see what Sir David Nicholson reckons we should accept.