An independent NHS

OK, so how’s this for an idea. Why don’t we break the entire NHS off from government to form an independent body – state funded but not state controlled?

As I see it, an independent NHS would have the following advantages:

– Less day to day interference from government, more cohesive long-term planning

– Continuity through elections, less chopping and changing of direction and leadership

– Could be run like the BBC, using the techniques of the private sector but as a public service

– Easier for people working in the NHS to rise through the system, they wouldn’t have to be politicians to reach the top and so successful ideas could flourish internally

– Still providing services free at the point of use

– Greater public support, they could see what proportion of their taxes went directly to funding the NHS instead of being ‘lost’ in general government spending.

It might be less flexible if funding had to be set aside exclusively for the NHS, but the real problem is that politicians would never want to give up that much control because, in the short term, they’d have less influence.

We’d also have to accept that people at the top of this new organisation would not be directly elected, they’d be appointed because of their expertise. But on the other hand – do you democratically ‘elect’ the civil servants who run the NHS now? Did you decide that John Reid should be the Minister for Health? No.

I also haven’t planned out exactly how you would fund it, obviously a flat tax would be too unfair and regressive given the size of the investment. But the more I think about it, the more I’m convinced this would be the best way of preserving the values of the NHS will reforming it at the same time.

Thoughts, anyone?

(Oh, and belated shout out to Alex Trafford, whose website is looking funkier by the day)

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10 Comments on :
An independent NHS

  1. BigBroMan says:

    No no no…. keep it running as it is, but I like the tories voucher scheme. It’s a good way to distribute people in long waiting lists.

    Sure, this goes against the principles of the NHS. But in my opinion, politics is about helping the people – not principles.

    I’d also impose a health tax on anyone who typically uses the NHS, but pays to go private in order to skip the queues. With all funds going directly to the NHS that is.

  2. Red Dalek says:

    But doesn’t the Tory voucher scheme encourage people to go private by paying for a portio of it? Why give them discounts only to tax it back?

  3. alex says:

    WOW!
    My names on he internet…oh wait…

  4. Katie Self says:

    Dom you should of asked Carolyn (Our anuty) about this she works for the NHS.

  5. Red Dalek says:

    I sent her an email Katie

  6. Crusader42 and a 1/2 says:

    And?

  7. Carolyn Regan says:

    Great idea Dominic, except that not many people vote in elections.So we need to enthuse people about the gains of democracy.
    Also we need to encourage front line NHS staff to contribute to ideas development and implementation to a much greater extent than is currently the case.
    I think that vouchers to individuals to commission their own care from whichever provider they choose, including the voluntary sector, is great but not just for cherry picking for the private sector in planned surgery.Love the Anuty

  8. Crusader42 and a 1/2 says:

    ok lol the ending

  9. Katie Self says:

    Hi the anuty! lol

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