Monday, January 04, 2010

Where's the decentralisation Dave?

The Tory party have just published their draft manifesto for the NHS as part of the pre-election election campaign. Frankly, on initial reading I think it looks uninspiring and also a little contradictory. For example:

The Tories say they will "scrap all of the politically-motivated process targets" (good) and "set NHS providers free to innovate by ensuring they become autonomous Foundation Trusts" (also good), but then they say they will "focus on the health results matter, like improving cancer and stroke survival rates or reducing infections (sounds like targets and centralised edicts too me).

They also complain that patients do not get effective treatment because the "system lets Ministers off the hook by blaming decisions on unaccountable bureaucrats in NICE", but at the same time say on funding they plan to "create an independent NHS board to allocate resources to different parts of the country" - this will surely create the same "off the hook" effect in funding allocation won't it?

Doesn't sound very "post-bureaucratic" or "decentralised" too me. Plus ├ža change!

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