Tuesday, 18 October 2011

How have coalition policies impacted on the NHS?

Clearly the Lansley Bill is still before parliament, but the coalition is (if you believe the Guardian) already having a detrimental impact on patients. Cameron claimed he wanted to, "cut the deficit, not the NHS," while saying that it was possible to save £20bn in the NHS before 2015 without affecting 'frontline' services i.e. patients would not notice any difference. The Guardian says that NHS managers have sought to make savings that have negatively impacted on pain relief and neo-natal services amongst others. The left tend to argue that the Conservative Party are not a safe pair of hands for the NHS and that Cameron's pre-election promise was merely a fig-leaf for drastic cuts to patient services.  The government would argue that the actual savings made are up to PCTs and other NHS organisations and their managers. They would probably go on to say that managers can choose to make cuts in other areas if they want to.
Again the dilemma for Tories is how to push through reforms or in this case, massive savings, while sticking to their claim to be against top-down, 'New Labour'-style diktats, whilst also remaining electable!

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