Has everything changed in the NHS? – Richard Murphy

People are taking to the streets to fight for their health service, while David Cameron no longer considers it a priority.

People are taking to the streets to fight for their health service, while David Cameron no longer considers it a priority.

There’s an interesting (and lengthy) article on Tax Research UK in which Richard Murphy recounts his own opinions and those of his GP wife on the current situation in the NHS.

It seems she reckons the Royal College of General Practitioners has given up on its dream of providing an ideal service to everyone in the UK, because:

  • Government pressure has made it impossible. It seems rules brought in under Labour meant doctors were paid for preventative appointments and now, if they don’t carry them out, they lose income. Budgets are already being cut so staff are being cut and resources for the ill are being cut dramatically.
  • It is no longer possible to fit people into the ideal GP consultation of 12 minutes – there are too many for that. So they have given up on performing well and are concentrating on performing as well as possible.
  • And GPs in England have been set in opposition to hospitals. Circle Health failed at Hinchingbrooke because the company thought it was going to drag NHS resources away from GPs through the local Clinical Commissioning Group. It didn’t happen because the GPs on the CCG dragged the resources back [be warned: this might not happen in all CCGs, depending on the influence of private healthcare representatives on them].

It is worth quoting what Mr Murphy states in relation to the last point: “All competition is predicated on the idea that failure is not just possible but desirable and failure is what we get as a result. But the cost of failure in this case is real human suffering.”

He takes a different route to the same conclusions, saying:

  • The capacity to manage crisis no longer exists. All systems require back ups and alternatives to ensure that failure can be accommodated but, after years of pressure for cuts those alternatives have been deemed wasteful and eliminated: “It’s about guaranteeing failure to meet peek demand, and that is what is happening now in the NHS because a market language where failure can occur has, again, been applied to a public service where failure to supply is unacceptable.”
  • The public has changed, and the health market has not encouraged choice or judgement. It seems to have created total dependence where people wish to accept no responsibility for themselves.
  • There is a failure to recognise that if this is what people want then they have to be supplied with it – and be charged the tax that pays for it. People are making choices: politicians would be wise to follow their demand, increase spending, increase tax and keep people happy.

The conclusion:  “It is inevitable that health systems need re-design, again.

“The idea of re-organising the NHS seems deeply unpalatable but Lansley’s disastrous legacy, for which he has already been consigned to the wilderness, cannot survive. The NHS has to become national, again. And it has to ensure all current health needs are met as a priority. And service has to be at its core – and that does not leave room for profit.”

The full article is on Tax Research UK. It is long, but rewarding for those who don’t have a right-wing ideological agenda and can therefore process the arguments presented therein.

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10 thoughts on “Has everything changed in the NHS? – Richard Murphy

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      While I’m not familiar with your circumstances, I can’t support that comment. If you’re ill, see a doctor.

  1. Jeffery Davies

    Nhs is sick because they cut its funding giving it to the
    private sector whilst telling all its failing ready for that
    final sell of to the yanks they about nearly there when cams
    sais he’s giving more monies to get more doctors more
    nurses he didnt state to whom they were going to work for
    atos crapita maximus yep private sector wake up before it is gone
    and youl be seeing unum for that policy jeff3

  2. Jacky Barfoot

    look at it another way. many want to self manage but with support in place to do so but the entire gp-nhs set up now fails this and the person ends up paying private or landing in a and e instead because interventions were not there when they wanted to self managed and work with their clinical team on this – so their condition gets worse not stable.

  3. hugosmum70

    i rang my chemist this morning to order an item off my repeat prescription. once i had done that i asked why was i given a different brand of Metformin to what i have had for the past year? since being put on them actually. answer….. “Your lucky to even get them. we are having real problems getting any of the drugs that are being prescribed.i am running round like a headless chicken trying to find enough of what is needed for patients”… when asked why, she just said ” I have no idea”… so i said.”hmm probably govt cut backs”.. to which she said… “whatever it is its a nuisance and we don’t know where it will all end.”……….. dobnt know if this has anything to do with the above but it is a very worrying situstion. i am on 5 sprays, and at least 3 opf the tablets i am on would cause life threatening problems were i not be able to get them … must be a lot more worse than i am who would be affected.

  4. Andy

    There are no free lunches if we want an NHS that is fit for purpose we will have to pay for it. Whatever we want the state to provide in the way of public services must be paid for through taxation and nobody is happy to pay their taxes, we all think we pay too much. In some ways Cameron is right we cannot and should not continue with a structural deficit. But there needs to be a long term plan and a consensus on funding for our public services along with paying down the debt which could take 20 to 30 years. After all it took us 60 years to pay of the debt from WWII. Someone needs to make this brutally clear to the public but it’s seems politicians are to afraid to tell people this. There’s nothing wrong with ‘tax and spend’ that’s what all governments do. Privatisation through the back door will ultimately cost us more. Capitol investment is what is needed in many areas of public expenditure. I just hope Labour can live up to our expectations.

    1. jeffrey davies

      but andy i paid good wages into the nhs and the torys aint putting this monies back into the nhs they rather give it to their mates atos serco virgin maximus you name anyone of these companies and youl find a dosgy daves ministers finger in this pie nah the tax we pay was enough to keep the nhs going but they dont get enough to stay afloat thuss the torys shows us its better to go private jeff3 but then all daves mates are fingering these pie ready for comsumption

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