SIR – I recently received two letters from the NHS in the same post delivery but in separate envelopes. One was to notify me of an outpatient consultant appointment, and the other was to cancel this appointment – with no alternative offered.
This kind of incompetence is endemic throughout the organisation, and there is no point in wasting yet more money on it without a radical overhaul of management staff and practices.
W J Foden
Leamington Spa, Warwickshire
SIR – Let me suggest one way to transform the NHS, based on my experience of the excellent system in France.
Here we make our own appointments with hospital doctors, having been given a letter to convey to them by our GP. We carry our own…
SIR – Boris Johnson has made the NHS his top priority. He plans to guarantee a set level of funding, but this does not address the fact that we have a divided and unequal distribution of services that appear inadequate at best.
A “bottom up” process of service commissioning, led by innumerable clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), has resulted in different levels of care in the four home nations.
It is time to “re-nationalise” the NHS, reversing this element of devolution, and to put the planning of services back into the hands of clinicians. There needs to be a functional and physical separation of acute (emergency) care and elective (planned) care if acute units are to cope. New community hospitals…
The role of GPs as the gatekeeper to the NHS must be reassessed
Boris Johnson has placed the NHS at the heart of his Government’s new programme for the next five years. The Prime Minister’s commitments to the service went a long way to spike Labour’s guns during the recent election campaign.
At times, the only attack line Jeremy Corbyn seemed able to deploy was the canard that the Tories would dismantle the NHS and sell it to the Americans as part of a trade deal. The Conservatives have been in power for most of the time since the health service was established in 1948 and had they intended to take it apart they would have done so by now.
But it would be a mistake for the Government to think…
SIR – The weaponisation in the election of the increasingly serious problems in the NHS was shameful and irresponsible.
There have been hospital closures and bed losses every year since the nationalisation of Britain’s medical services in 1948, irrespective of what government was in power, and despite massive increases in expenditure.
On January 21 1997, Labour in opposition under Tony Blair moved that: “This House expresses its deep concern at the grave situation now evident in the National Health Service in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland; believes that anxiety about Her Majesty’s Government’s policy for this situation now transcends party lines; notes with alarm that throughout…
The Welsh NHS’s chronic underperformance proves that Labour is bad for your health
We only have 48 hours to save the NHS from a party that has presided over rocketing A&E queues, that has seen heart bypass surgery waiting times double under its watch, and whose mismanagement has seen hospital after hospital shoved into special measures.
That’s right, we only have 48 hours to save the NHS from the dead hand of Labour — whose oversight of our precious healthcare rationing system leaves Welsh men, women and children with all too often the worst service in the United Kingdom.
The NHS is one of the few things we have in common no matter where we are in the country. Devolution, though, has meant…
Jeremy Corbyn keeps telling us that "the NHS is not for sale". It has become his mantra for this election – the problem is that he is too late!
The reality is that the NHS is already for sale, and has been for decades. EU directives and Tony Blair’s obsession with "testing the market" are to blame.
The EU’s Public Procurement Directive states clearly that any public tender over a certain amount has to be open to any company with a subsidiary in the EU. The UK government and the NHS is prohibited from demanding that a provider of services has to be based in this country.
Any contract for a service not delivered “in-house” has to go to tender, and this not only includes services for hospitals but…
Jeremy Corbyn must be feeling awfully proud of himself for sharing confidential documents that he was convinced showed "the NHS will be up for sale" in US-UK trade talks post-Brexit.
Following his stunt, Boris Johnson and Donald Trump have now both insisted it will not be on the table. The Prime Minister issued a "cast iron guarantee" while the President, who was targeted by Mr Corbyn in a letter and punchy Twitter message on his arrival to London this week, told reporters that he had "never even thought" about including the NHS in trade talks, adding: "If you handed it to us on a silver-platter we would want nothing to do with it."
Such assurances from both the UK and US leaders were not enough…
For too long, we have measured success by inputs and refused to learn from best practice abroad
With the tedious regularity of Christmas songs playing at supermarkets in October and Love Actually repeats on ITV3, another unstoppable seasonal event is upon us – the NHS’s annual “Winter Crisis”. Newspapers are warning of “worst ever” pressures, predicting lengthy A&E delays for more than a million patients over Christmas. An unexpected December election has brought additional hysteria, keeping this popular political football in constant play.
Attempting to distract from their leader’s evisceration by Andrew Neil earlier in the week, Labour have revived the old bogeyman of stealth Tory NHS privatisation….
When in trouble, dial 999 and call up the NHS. An Ipsos Mori poll last week found that the National Health Service had overtaken Brexit as the biggest electoral concern, with 60 per cent of adults saying it was the issue most likely to determine the way they vote. Believe it if you will, but for Labour it has offered a glimmer of hope amid the wreckage of a fast imploding election campaign.
By raising the spectre of privatisation, as well as the prospect of sky high, American-style pharmaceutical prices, Corbyn’s strategists hope that Britain’s love affair with “our precious NHS” might yet come to their rescue. By both committing to higher levels of health spending and promising that the NHS…