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Ill wait for the speech itself but the NHS Independence Bill seems like a very clever way of attacking Blair whilst looking to be working with him. If the Bill doesnt make it, Cameron can simply blame him for being a roadblocker. The parliamentary sessions going to be packed already...will there be enough time for this? It also obviously will lead to the Unions getting angry with Blair if he doesnt support it.

I see theres an escape clause for the NHS cuts pledge by Cameron...

At last government is trying to give up on governing. Labour has increased expenditure from £800 million a day to nearly double that figure over ten years, with no noticeable results, in any area of government.

Has the penny finally dropped?

Government intervention in any aspect of our society always makes it worse. If labour have proved nothing else, they have finally and conclusively proved that government is no use at anything it does.

Its role should be scaled back and reduced to a fraction of its current responsibilities.

It's taken 60 years since the NHS was founded for the realisation to dawn that politicians cannot run it. Now it will go through a British Leyland phase when some foreign managers get pulled in to run it and try to keep it all going, and no doubt finally, after another few years it will go the same way as all state run ventures. The Soviet era will finally be over in Britain.

The New Localism will then step in.

This is the worst announcement - in a crowded field - yet to have come from the Tory front bench,

Gordon Brown first suggested removing the NHS from any political accountability. At least his motives were clear enough: he wanted to anticipate any reform by placing healthcare in the hands of the most hidebound of public sector ideologues.

Now, Lansley says he wants the same thing: only, if I understand him correctly, with even more taxpayers' money involved.

The problem with our public services in general, and with the NHS in particular, is that the producers do not have to answer to the consumers. Patients are treated as supplicants, and expected to be grateful for anything they get. It is hard to think of many ways to make the system worse, but Lansley has hit on one.

This is an amazingly good policy. Having worked in the NHS fro age 18 to 65, I have seen the bean counters and pen pushers gradually increase in numbers and influence, until they have succeeded in damn near wrecking the whole thing. In 1969, I worked for the West Riding of Yorkshire, Division 20. It was competantly run by ONE Chief Nursing Officer, and One Medical Officer of Health. End of.

I'm not sure what impact this will have on the NHS if its ever implemented, although I have yet to see any organisation that couldn't be improved by removing politicians from its management.
The exciting thing about this policy is that it shows the Tories are finally back on a level playing field with Labour when it comes to political nous. How did NuLab get elected? By stealing the Tories policies and values. Nice to see Labour getting a taste of its own medicine at last.

Oh dear, the duty of an opposition is to oppose no matter whether it is sensible or not.
Just what is Dave up to in giving Gordo the measure of credibility and support.
Good grief, save us from this hoodie hugging wishy-washy liberal.

I think we should all hold our horses till we see the flesh on this very thin skeleton of information. To take the NHS from the politicians gets an easy cheer but on whom is power to be bestowed ? Not upon the "bean counters and pen pushers" I hope. Unless it's got right it could be a frying pan and fire situation.

Is this just kite-flying to get the headlines or is there some policy here?

Like Annabel i grew up when doctors and nurses ran the service and most of the money came voluntarily from the public. Things were not so high-tech then though! And my grandson is qualifying at the end of this year in Annabel's very region and is now working in the Airedale Hospital - gloomy about there being any prospects though.

With the timetable being as it is, is there not a problem that Labour could cut in and announce an NHS Bill before the Conservatives acrtually publish theirs? Id rather it was the Conservatives leading on this one and not following any Labour's NHS Bill through Parliament.

Such "independence" will enable Ministers to pass the buck. We should expect our elected politicians and Ministers accountable for the performance of the NHS. We are the funders as well as the customers.

Editor, the link to the speeches is:


"All control of day-to-day clinical and managerial decisions will pass to managers, doctors and nurses." re The Telegraph article.

What day to day clinical and managerial decisions are taken by Ministers now?

The new GP Contract has fundamentally changed the NHS and there's little chance of going back, why the MP's thought GP's would choose to work shifts if they didn't have to is beyond me.

It is interesting to see the tactic of offering to work with Brown. Whatever ones view this is brave. Some may think its not opposition but then there does seem to be massive shifts in the political world with the public not happy with all politicians. This puts us on a positive front foot and it may well work well for us,


Cameron has scored a massive "own goal". All he proposes is to place the NHS between the Rock of a Quango and The Hard Place of the Government with all the bureaucrats / penpushers in place with even more money. to waste.

Casmeron is showing his age - inexperienced.
Patients first
( Telegraph Filed: 10/10/2006)

There was a familiar ring to yesterday's speeches by David Cameron and the shadow health secretary, Andrew Lansley, elaborating the Conservative Party's plans for the National Health Service.

Their proposal for an "independent" body to take responsibility for the NHS — thereby removing it from direct political control — sounded uncannily like the plan put forward by Gordon Brown only a few weeks before.

The Tory leadership not only appeared to endorse the Labour Chancellor's prescription for improving the delivery of healthcare: it also seemed to accept the premise that more spending on public services necessarily improved their quality.

Having given an explicit undertaking that, under a Conservative government, "real-term spending on public services will rise", Mr Cameron then reiterated the promise that he had made in his party conference speech that there would be "an end to … pointless and disruptive reorganisations of the NHS".

Taken together, these two statements suggest that the Conservatives would follow the Labour formula, spending more and more on healthcare without demanding reforms in its delivery.

The most serious criticism of the Conservative policy was the very one levelled at Mr Brown when he made his proposal: if the NHS is to be freed from the control of elected politicians, how is it to be made accountable?

To hand the running of the country's healthcare system over to a board of bureaucrats, with day-to-day decision-making in the hands of medical professionals, allows no apparent influence to those who pay for the service through their taxes. Offering a new watchdog body (to be called "Healthwatch") scarcely seems sufficient.

Mr Cameron made a glancing reference to the notion of patient choice, but specifically ruled out any possibility of a social insurance model for health funding that might have provided some real power of purchase to the consumer. Taking the politics out of the NHS is an appealing idea, but only if the power of politicians (who are, after all, answerable to the electorate) is to be replaced by the power of patients.

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