Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Johnson's Once In A Generation NHS Review

Now, bend over and I'll insert it

New Health Commissar, New NHS Review:

"To prepare for the next spending round an independent review should examine long term NHS needs, over the next twenty years.

In the half-century history of the NHS no such review has ever been carried out. Taking the long-term view means honestly facing the scale of the challenges ahead."

Oh no, sorry, that wasn't Johnson today. That was Brown in 2001, bigging up his... er, "independent" NHS report from my Lord Hapless.

No, Johnson's review is merely "unprecendented" or possibly only "once in a generation", depending on which spin text you read.

Two comments.

First, this blithering bunch of incompetents has already increased health spending by 75% in real terms, and most of it has been flushed down the lav. The authoritative Kings Fund says that 80% of the extra spending has gone on cost increases (eg see this blog). While poor old Wanless has got so upset he's not only pulled out all his hair, but probably all his teeth as well (see this blog).

Second, as predicted, union man Johnson has been given the job specifically to terminate the "reform" programme. Or as he puts it, to end the "emergency approach" to change, and to promise "no further centrally dictated top-down restructuring".

The horrible truth is that Johnson has read the last rites. Our once in a generation chance to restructure healthcare in Britain relatively painlessly on the back of that huge uplift in funding, has gone. It's been officially declared dead.
PS For the record, by the end of the NHS spending splurge next year, UK health spending will be about 9% of GDP. Of that, some 1% will be private health spending, with public spending accounting for almost 8%. That's up from 5.4% when Labour came in, a huge increase.

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