Minicos: The So-called “NHS Bill”

11 Mar

I’ll keep this brief and to the point. I couldn’t, with all honesty, say for sure if I support the Welfare and Social Care Bill (popularly known as the NHS Bill), because I’ve not read the proposals in any great detail, and rather than debating the substance of the Bill, Twitter’s turned into a massive fucking pantomime over the issue.

I therefore propose to come to an opinion by getting sensible answers to the three questions below. Please feel free to comment below. If the answers are all “yes”, I will most likely support the bill, and if they’re all “no”, I won’t.

If the NHS reforms are passed as currently proposed…

Question 1. Will the NHS still provide healthcare free of charge at point of consumption?

Question 2. Will the care provided be of the same quality, or better, than the status quo?

Question 3. Will the reforms make it more or less likely that the NHS will last another 60 years at least?

Yes/No/Meh answers are welcome, but not especially helpful. I would appreciate some insight into your answers.



4 Responses to “Minicos: The So-called “NHS Bill””

  1. John Moss March 11, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    Yes, yes and more likely.


    • John Moss March 11, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

      To be more descriptive.

      1 – patient goes to GP, GP writes prescription, patient goes to chemist – no change; or,
      2 – patient goes to GP, GP refers to specialist. GP makes appointment directly (under bill) rather than writing to PCT. GP will have “commissioned” specialists (under bill) rather than PCT.
      3 – Specialist treats patient (eg physiotherapy or drugs). GP pays Specialist; or,
      4 – patient goes for treatment in hospital. May choose with GP to go to different hospital/specialist if they want (under the Bill).
      5 – Patient is treated, hospital bills GP (rather than PCT or Strategic Health Authority))

      90% of funding still through Government (so no prospect of hospitals doing half private work “for profit”, simply not that much private work to go round).

      Hospitals still “Trusts” so any “profit” goes back in to treating others or kit or staff.


  2. John Edginton (@JohnEdginton) March 11, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    1. Yes (at least for the time being) but if quality suffers then the right-wing will make the argument that universal healthcare is a failure and may ask for payments. There is a danger of future top-up payments, or co-pays liek we already do with NHS dentists and prescription drugs in England.

    2. No. private healthcare systems in other countries cost more of GDP than public systems. Profit making companies try to get as much money for least amount of work/quality/return. Look at the privatisation of the railways, costs go up but quality doesn’t. Introducing profit motive means an ulterior motive, another consideration for healthcare professionals who should only be thinking of your best interests within the context of available resources. Most of the social care scandals (though not all) have been private providers. One has to wonder why the government is refusing to comply with the law to publish the risk register. One can only deduce that if the content is made known it will kill this Bill in its tracks. What are they afraid of?

    3. No. Less likely. Due to the above. Become more costly, quality will go down, and we’ll need more reforms, either to abolish universal healthcare or to return us to the status quo, but the former is more likely. The reason people felt the need to create an NHS is because a hodge-podge of private, council and charity health services were terrible. It failed the public and they demanded better. The NHS is one of the greatest political achievements in our history.


  3. Christoclifford March 11, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    A) for a time but the SoS duty to provide is removed thus removing judicial power to compel. Also local authority statutory requirement to provide a large list of services is removed. Thus with budgetary pressures it is easy to see that CCGs and GPs will choose to offer less which will be in profitable areas picked up by private health providers requiring private health insurance. Those who cannot afford that go without. Or tax payers money for NHS is used to pay for private provision and their share holders.

    b) quality. As explained by a senior midwife at the NHS Rally, when private care is provided alongside NHS care the private patients get one to one care, the NHS patients get what’s left with poorer out ones for those patients and their babies. We have seen plenty of evidence recently to see that private health care can fail badly and the NHS picks up the tab. There is very possibility that costs to the NHS will increase but provision will be reduced.
    C) will the changes affect NHS longevity. Once it is open to completion as planned EU law kicks in and forced free and open completion in a free market. Therefore the NHS will within 10-15 years or even sooner be merely a brand name. Provision will go bankrupt, middle class citizens and the poor will need some kind of insurance which as we seen in those countries have such a system rapidly becomes unaffordable.


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