NHS Reforms Demonstrate Governments Weak Leadership
If there is a statement that should not only fill people with despair over where the Government is going with the reforms to the National Health Service it should surely be what was said yesterday by David Cameron and Nick Clegg when they and their Cabinet colleagues say “this is a politically rubbish place to be – but the Coalition Government is determined to force the reforms through”.
Instead of listening to the very real concerns not only of the public but those who are in the front line of the National Health Service delivering essential services the Government are more concerned that ‘it could take 3 years to “persuade” voters that the fears about the reforms are unfounded”.
It is in fact an admission that rather than work with the National Health Service to bring forward much-needed and agreed reforms in a sensible way working with all of the groups involved they intend to concentrate on “spinning their policy” and I predict the first steps will be to demonize those who continue to demonstrate their commitment to the NHS and the Care of Patients but who oppose the imposition of the now fully discredited reforms.
I’m sure Andrew Lansley MP the Minister responsible must be wondering and even concerned that he has been given a vote a confidence by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister and I have no doubt he believes in what he is proposing, but are we really to believe that the problem is not with the reforms but that Mr Lansley hasn’t explained and communicated them well enough.
I’m sure professional organisations like the Faculty of Public Health, Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of Midwives, British Medical Association, Royal College of GPs, Royal College of Radiologists, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and the Royal College of Psychiatrists who have all come out against the reforms describing them as seriously damaging to the NHS that will reduce front line patient care and increase bureaucracy are intelligent enough to have understood the reforms without the need for the Government spin.
What they have seen is the reduction in full-time qualified nurses of over 3.500 in the last two years and another 5,000 nurses identified by the Royal College of Nursing as being at risk.
What the Government seem to relying on is that the public will as they did in the Dr Harold Shipman case soon forget and of course continue as they always will turn to and use the Health Service which is so iconic an organisation it is impossible to damage the general public’s respect and regard for it.
This is just another case of the Prime Minister ( as over Europe) and his Deputy trying to demonstrate that they are providing strong leadership when in fact by continuing with the NHS reforms in the face of the evidence provided from the professionals, patient organisations and the public they are demonstrating a weakness that is borne out of an arrogance that they and only they know what is best.
The NHS is so important that no amount of “persuading the public” spin will convince the public.
It is time to drop the proposed reforms, have sensible discussions and prevent the imposition and implementation of what is now turning out to be a mash – mash of reforms.
I’m not one for predictions but expect that we will shortly see Conservative MPs breaking ranks and joining Labours call for the NHS Reform Bill to be dropped which will spell the end for the Secretary of State for Health.