« Questions for you | Main | "I want to be forgotten as party chairman... The really successful party chairmen are the ones you don't really remember": Eric Pickles talks to ConservativeHome two months into his new role »


All excellent proposals - especially No. 4. my late grandmother was a hospital matron and she would have put the fear of God into any of her nurses or ward orderlies (as they called cleaners in those days) who were not up to scratch!

Totally support all those proposals. They are putting the health service where it should be in the hands of doctors, nurses and patients. Would like to see Foundation Hospitals given greater freedom and also for foundation hospital status to be extended to more hospitals as this would as the Lansley proposals would give power to hospitals and also give power to local people to influence the running of there local hospital by becoming members of the foundation trust.

Excellent. Andrew Lansley is a star. He is an extremely competent shadow Health Secretary

Point 6:

Allow Medical Staff to speak to the public and the media. Remove the gagging orders on staff.

Stop doctors like Rita Pal from being persecuted by the New Labour GMC when she flags up problems at Mid-Staffs and gets a dose of Stalinist persecution for her pains necessitating The High Court to protect her reputation, livelihood, and health

How about point 6: Encourage setting up of chains of privately-run publicly funded hospitals (either by government grant and/or claims from compulsory health insurance policies) allowing patients choice of where and when to be treated - and by extension forcing hospitals like Mid-Staffs et al to close until they sort themselves out????

Seems to work pretty well elsewhere....but radical policies from Andrew Lansley...fat chance...

NHS Blog

Well Schlieffen Plan that would not work - Labour has created them - they are called ISTCs and some of them have a poor record in their own right at huge cost.

Labour says "You have to trust us."

We say "We trust you."

We need to get politicians out of healthcare. Full stop.

In short, we must privatise. Instead of national insurance we should pay a compulsory sum to a company of our choice. After all, this is how we deal with our cars - why not with our bodies? Competition would drive down costs; government could not filch the moneys for other expenditures; the leech like bureaucrats draining the funds away would all fall away. Hospitals would then, as private institutions, compete for our patronage as patients and clean themselves up. Matrons would make a come back automatically, precisely because they get things done. A further corollary of this would be the freedom to smoke again, since each of us would bear the burden of our habits in our insurance premiums. Doctors would become professionals again and not our masters, as they risk being in this prison-hospital of a socialist state. But alas, this is the Britain of 2009 and in the tedious, unimaginative Lansley we have a truly representative politician - tired, flat and timid. His proposals are all very well, but they nibble round the edges of the sore and leave it in place.


Please see Simon Denis @17.26...I think he answers the points you make and to which I alluded.

We had a perfectly ( well, reasonably) good Patient's watchdog, in the form of the PPI (Patient and Public Involvment) Patient Forums, which had full statutory powers of access and inspection of all NHS premises. These PPI Forums were supposed to replace the old Community Health Councils (which had, allegedly become too politicised), but were three years in formation, operated for only 18 months and took a further three years in the winding up up, at a cost considerably in excess of £200, million. I note that Andrew Lansley now advocates giving inspection powers to the new "Local Involvement Networks" (doesn't the title just say it all?!), which were supposed to have replaced the PPI Forums over three years ago, but which are still in the process of formation. This was despite strong reservations about the proposed "LINks" from the all party Select Committee on Health and their recommendations that at least some parts of the PPI Forums should be retained,together with their statutory powers of inspection.

The "Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health" (CPPIH) provided a classic example of how the Labour Government's obsession with spin and perception over performance has resulted in a massive misapplication of public funding, at no benefit whatsoever to the NHS. This is not to say that, thanks to the efforts and ability of a large number of the unpaid volunteer members of the individual PPI Forums, there were not some positive results, particularly in respect of hygiene inspections of some Acute Trust hospitals. However, such positive results were largely achieved despite, rather than because of, the permanent staff recruited and employed by the CPPIH, whose principal concern appeared to be to organise pointless and expensive meetings purely to justify their own existence.

I am alarmed to see Lansley and his team apparently being prepared to accept the status quo of the present Government's NHS policies, with the hope of improving these by tinkering at the edges, instead of coming up with constructive ideas for a total re-think of how the NHS should work.

Lansley's proposals are intended to apply to all the NHS. What I cannot understand is that he seems to have bought the Brown version that North Staffs is a one off. It is obvious that it cannot be; the same management priorities apply right round the NHS and, for that matter, most public services.

He states that half the problem is that those able to do something were oblivious to what was happening. I would suggest that they were well aware but knew their promotion prospects depended on other criteria (remember inspectors were happy). Labour have always, and will always, run public services for the benifit of Labour politicians (oh yes and unions)in terms of media stories, bragging rights etc. There isn't much reason otherwise for a Labour party.

This sort of thing is going on in all public services, schools, police, social services (inspectors were happy with baby P's authority. I don't understand why Lansley has not made the general point that North Staffs is the sort of thing that happens with Labour governments. However, I notice that shadow cabinet members usually just concentrate on a single incident to score points, they rarely relate the incident to the "big picture". Labour on the other hand take every little thing and relate it to an anti-Tory "big picture". That's one reason NewLab have done so well.


he seems to have bought the Brown version that North Staffs is a one off.

Lansley was talking about Mid-Staffs but you mention North Staffs which some bloggers say is a much worse case.

Will Lansley be raising the issue of North Staffs hospital too ?

Andrew Lansley is indeed a star - he addressed a CPF dinner in Ipswich a few years ago and was excellent.

I was a member and Officer of the local Community Health Council during the 90s - we had members from all the main Parties, and politics were left at the door. When a Tory councillor once tried to politicise an issue, he was jumped on so hard he disappeared for good.

Alan Milburn never gave a reason for the abolition of CHCs, but I believe he wanted to ensure that there was no experienced voluntary organisation in place to criticise Labour's health plans.

A huge amount of time and money has been wasted in attempting to provide an illusion of public input into Heath services. I appreciate Lansley's concern not to overwhelm the NHS with more re-organisation, and applaud the idea of 'Health Watch', but would like to see all other patient forums abolished (and I am currently a member of one).

This misses the 'elephant in the room' as they say.


Where were the whistle blowers? There cannot be a single instance of malfeasance where a whistle-blower would not have saved time, money and suffering.

But in practice they just get the sack - a loss to the public, a win for the establishment.

345 are very good ideas

...so its a pity he couldn't come up with something more useful than 1&2. At a time when the push is to reduce public expenditure by cutting Quangos to suggest not 1 but 2 extra ones not even assigning the roles to an existing health Quango, for which he would be spoilt for choice, suggests that he is having difficulty leaving the Blair naughties behind him.


Filled with loyalty and devotion - right the way up to the rim.

Opinicus - surely you aren't assuming that this new stuff will just be dumped on top of the existing stuff that is proven not to work...

I am sure there is already more than enough money to run the service properly. So these changes will actually free up money and cut out tax bills.

If the measures are going to cost more, then I would rather we all accept that the NHS is likely to kill you, and return the money to the tax payer to make their own arrangements.

Excellent suggestions.
It was the relatives of suffering patients who orgionally blew the whistle on labour's paper pushers.

The Health Direct blog has been cataloging the tens of thousands of preventable NHS deaths since labour's famous lie about saving the NHS.


Opinicus - as someone else who is frequently accused of "schlurping" as you put it - in other words of unthinking blind loyalty etc. I ask you why is it so wrong to express a supportive opinion of our frontbenchers if we believe they are doing a good job? Or is a "bilious" view the only correct one in your little world?

@Sally Roberts
I have never accused you of schlurping, merely of loyalty to Party before principle. I am not sure how old you are but I expect you were serially similarly loyal to Heath Thatcher Major Hague IDS and Howard. A sort of Conservative Methodist - seeing the good in people, except, of course, anyone on your own side, who is questioning or who rocks the boat.

The problem with the Conservative Party is that it has been in power for the majority of the last hundred years and although it has always been the best available Party at each and every General Election over that period, it cannot be denied that it is therefore responsible for reducing the Great Britain of 1909 to the shrivelled mongrel wreck of 2009. With office comes responsibility. In office but not in power.

Schlurping is an onomatopoeic word for a disgusting act. In his case an un-evidenced assertion from the Goebbels School of Spin. At first I thought the remark was sarcastic. Not so much loyalty as an impudent lie for the benefit of his Masters.

With sound Conservative proposals such as these, Laboour's "do nothing" slogan sounds pathetic. Andrew Lansley's suggestions would help to empower those who are on the front line, so to speak. Also, these changes would improve accountability in the NHS.

Under Labour, our NHS is dominated by bureaucracy (such as targets)and suffers from severe mismanagement.

Apologies for the spelling error in my post. I typed too quickly. It happens!

Although I agree with most of Andrew Lansley's comments, I am not convinced that his "power for Patients" proposal is the right way to ensure that hospitals deliver a first class caring service. The present arrangement of a few PCTs negotiating services with their local hospital will be far more effective than his proposal to have each GP bidding on an individual basis; it will be like herding cats.
Let the GPs do the job that they know best, and leave the negotiating to the PCTs that have much greater clout when dealing with the hospitals.
As Andrew has said ".. in keeping with our commitment to avoid organisational upheaval.." he should bear this in mind before making such a massive change to the way that hospital services are contracted.

The comments to this entry are closed.



ConHome on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Conservative blogs

    Today's public spending saving

    New on other blogs

    • Receive our daily email
      Enter your details below:

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker