Wednesday, September 20, 2006
And How Pray Will You Do That?
Yesterday CPO Commissar Hewitt joined the lengthening queue of New Labour high-ups who are finally confessing the terrible truth we've known for ages- all that money they've poured into our public services has been flushed down the toilet.
Displaying a brass neck worthy of the good Doc Goebbels, the Commissar told her old chums at the IPPR that the NHS was stuck in the Stalinist 1940s, and:
"We asked the public to pay higher contributions to fund record investment in the NHS and we have to convince them that those resources are being used in the most effective way possible. For all the extra money, all the extra staff and extra patients treated, NHS productivity has remained almost unmoved*.
But if we are to match people's rising expectations, care for an ageing population, provide the best new treatments, the NHS needs to become not just a bit more efficient, but dramatically more efficient and effective. That is why we still have to reform."
But how the Commissar proposes to achieve such miraculous reform is kinda vague. And after a dacade of such vacuity, I'm guessing eveyone needs a little more than politicians promising tough action to somehow make everything better. Especially now all the money's gone.
The Commissar's appearance in the confessional follows hard on the heels of Gordo's NHS architect Sir Derek Wanless, who told us in April:
"What they've finished up with now is using all the money - actually, slightly more than all the money - and they're not doing some of the things that were actually crucial: prevention, and productivity of the health services."
The Blessed Leader himself confessed in June, and outriders like Milburn even seem to be thinking the unthinkable- nationalised public services simply don't work and government hasn't a prayer of putting things right.
*Technical...well, not that technical, footnote. Contrary to what to Commissar says, NHS productivity has not "remained almost unmoved". According to the ONS, productivity has plummeted by 1.6% pa since Labour took over. Clearly that's a tad awkward for the Department of Health, which has therefore locked statistical horns with the Office for National Statistics over exactly what constitutes NHS productivity, and how you should measure it. According to DoH, once you allow for "quality adjustments" productivity has sort of been unch. Yeah, right. I wonder who we should believe.
Posted by Mike D at 1:19 pm