Frank Field MP
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Single Vision: NHS Output

3
Sep
It is predictable but deeply depressing. Up goes the cry that any review of NHS expenditure MUST result in cuts to consumers.

The debate on public expenditure cuts need to be focussed on output and not input. Over the first ten years of this Government's life productivity FELL in the public sector while increasing by 26 per cent in privately run organisations.

It is on this mega discrepancy that the debate should be exclusively concentrated. Going for a debate on cutting or non-cutting is simply a cop-out. It continues the error of public sector reform debate for as long as I can remember.

The NHS budget stands at £94.5bn - a tripling since 1997. If the NHS had delivered the same productivity as was registered for the private sector over the same period, they very same NHS output could have been gained on a total bill REDUCED by £26bn. The political kaleidoscope needs a radical shake up.

A first move would be to insist that the poorest performing hospitals equal the productivity of simply the current average. That move alone would save £2.4bn with no increase in resources.

A second move would be to insist that all hospitals perform as do the best units.

A third move would be to move the whole of the NHS in productivity terms to equal simply the average of the private sector.

A final move would be to ensure that the NHS leads the productivity league table of both public and private sector.

How do we make the most important changes in our health services since the NHS was established in 1948? It is by concentrating exclusively on NHS output rather than inputs.

Those who love the NHS have a duty to insist that this is the only debate in town. It will be a far from easy one to win but success will transform British politics.
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Frank, reading the above, what you say is EXACTLY what Dan Hannan is saying - given the performance of the NHS today, would you wish our NHS, as it is and as it performs on anyone ?No, not just a blinkered throw them to the dogs, but, taking the whole, the costs, the ineffeciencies, the failures, could you seriously market today's NHS as any more than a patient in need of emergency treatment itself ?It is time for us all to wake up and realise that public sector spending cuts are not necessarily about output cuts - they are about rationalising and prioritising spensing and maximising output, for what fool would spend £10 to get £1 in return ?
Comment by Anonymous on 15 Jul 2011
comment
Frank, Your vision shows a leadership on the future for the NHS which is admirable and essential. The three main parties seem to be locked in a sterile position regarding the NHS. Any criticism is put across as a desire to destroy the NHS. It is high time that the NHS was treated as more than a way of scoring cheap party political points. Thank you for taking the first steps in that direction.
Comment by Anonymous on 15 Jul 2011


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