The Ferret Fancier links to two important articles: one is about the dramatic increase in spending on NHS management and the the other about how David Cameron has been listening to NHS privatisation campaigners.
The Ferret Fancier says this is to do with the NHS market and privatisation. Who can blame the Ferret for stating the obvious when it seems that neither the present government nor the Conservatives are capable of seeing this fundamental truth even though it is staring them in the face? As a result we have the ludicrous situation of the Conservatives tut-tutting about the increased spending on NHS management while proposing as a solution even more rapid privatisation. It's like seeing a house on fire and hosing it down with petrol.
Whatever the present government or the Conservatives may say about preserving current levels of health service spending we all know that there are tough times ahead. Our only hope is to extract more efficiency from the current funding. That is the one thing we can all agree on. More money needs to be spent on patient care and less on those who manage that care. That's not to say we don't need motivated managers. But they need to be managing the delivery of healthcare not markets. Managing the NHS market is costly. Moving money from purchaser to provider is costly. Appraising competitive bids is costly. Grumble could go on. It could all be justified if these processes could wring better quality and greater efficiency out of the system but we all know that the opposite is the case. Private providers are a wily lot and can run rings around government purchasers. It's inevitable. Given that context is there any good reason to believe that private providers are likely to be better than government providers? Of course not. The private providers of healthcare are like the private providers of computing for Connecting for Health. These greedy people just focussed on milking the NHS cash cow for what they could get while delivering as little as they could get away with - which turns out to have been almost nothing. Why don't governments learn from their mistakes?
Is there any hope? In a way there is. If all this money is being wasted and funding is going to be tight then all we have to do is claw it back from all those very clever people now being employed to run a market that far from helping is actually getting in the way of delivering our core business - patient care. Unfortunately politicians do not listen to the likes of Dr Grumble or his darling, Allyson Pollock. They don't need to. They do need the voters. But when it comes to the future of the NHS the hapless voter has been left with Hobson's choice. Now why do you think that is?