Monday, September 14, 2009

Burnham lays groundwork for "diverted blame" policy

According to this morning's Telegraph, Andy Burnham is planning on introducing new measures which mean budgets for hospitals will be allocated on general user experience of the service. In other words, if a hospital gets lots of complaints about the food then it will lose some money.

Presumably the theory here is that the potential loss of money will be an incentive for bad hospitals to become good hospitals. Please put aside the more realistic situation where hospital A has crap food, receives complaints; has its budget cut; spends less on food because it can't afford more; has its budget cut etcetera etcetera.

Reading between the lines though, the policy seems more like a cheap political ploy. It's about (a) being seen to acknowledge that the NHS can be crap sometimes in the wake of reports showing it to be the case, and more importantly (b) passing the blame for any cuts on to hospitals and moaning patients.

Quite clever really.

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