Reforms row should act as a warning


Almost as quickly as it flared up, the row over NHS regulations seems to have subsided.

A week ago ministers had MPs, peers and leading voices from within the NHS on their back over new rules governing the contracting out of services.

Critics had argued the regulations breached assurances made about the extent to which competition would be deployed in the NHS.

An amended document has now been laid before parliament - and it seems to have appeased those who expressed concern.

The re-write has focussed on two key areas - under what circumstances contracts can be handed out without competition and to what extent anti-competitive practices are allowed.

In both cases, ministers say they have made it clear that the NHS is not being opened up to the private sector.

The early indications are the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, which perhaps put most pressure on ministers with their outspoken criticism the weekend before last, is willing to give ministers the benefit of the doubt.

Meanwhile, both the Royal College of Nursing and British Medical Association have cautiously welcomed the changes.

But that does not mean the "reforms issue" has gone away.

On 1 April the new system comes into force. If the last fortnight has proved anything, it is that the changes are likely to be one of the most controversial aspects of government policy in the coming years.

Nick Triggle Article written by Nick Triggle Nick Triggle Health correspondent

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  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Ties in well with other storie on the BBC...
    London NHS spends £13m on public relations


    Turn Stafford anger into action, says Obama adviser

    Seems that there are even more sackings required. NHS money is not there to pay useless management to not know what is going on, nor is it there to pay for 'PR'. It is there to cure illness. (nor tattoo removal or aiding the infertile to have babies)

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Sack the guy at the top who didn't know what was happening in the hospital he ran - he clearly can't be trusted to know what is going on in the whole NHS. (That or he is telling pork pies and did know and didn't care - the result should be the same).
    That would send a strong signal to others to work harder and better, then the reforms won't be needed

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.


    3 porters, unexpected X Rays and chairs with fixed arms from which the patient could not be transferred onto the plasters bench resulted in a 3 degree drop in the patient's temperature and the plasterers having to visit the patient on the ward. (A formal complaint has been made.)

    It all started with a standard appointment letter's paragraph.

    How to kill your patient!

    What a waste of money!

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    The NHS needs to dramatically improve its management .

    Medical arrogance must be eliminated. Doctors are just members of staff, like train drivers and nothing special at all!

    Yesterday, I spent the middle of the day watching it all fall apart at one major general hospital. A 100 yr old patient with hypothermia. Hoisted into the wrong chair, left in a very cold place caused by standard letter!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    Like it or loathe it these reforms are going through.
    So you can either support them and help them work .
    Or scaremonger and be obstructive .
    The NHS needs drastic reform lets hope these changes are a good start .


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