The NHS Constitution - is it English or British?
I was a bit confused so I wrote to the UK Government's Secretary of State for Health.
Dear Mr Johnson,
As Secretary of State for Health (in England) I wonder if you could inform me as to the territorial extent of Gordon Brown's proposed NHS Constitution.
Is this applicable to England only, or are the SNP and Plaid administrations in Scotland and Wales also going to introduce this?
One of Mr Johnson's colleagues replied.
Thank you for your email of 3 January to the Department of Health about a possible future NHS constitution.
Unfortunately, proposals for an NHS constitution have not yet been formulated, and the Department has not yet developed any policy on such a document. Until strategic work on proposals begin, I cannot tell you whether such a constitution would encompass all four national NHS organisations or otherwise; the Department would then issue policy papers for discussion and consultation.
I am sorry that I cannot be of further help.
Department of Health
Proposals for an NHS Constitution have not yet been formulated. Too right! The Department of Health isn't even sure which national health service they are conducting a review of. I would suggest, given that their stated aim 'is to improve the health and well-being of people in England', that it might be England.
In Gordon Brown's New Year speech to NHS staff he informed them that 'one of my first acts as Prime Minister was to ask the eminent surgeon, Professor Ara Darzi, to conduct a fundamental review of the NHS'.
What Gordon Brown meant to say was 'the NHS in England' because according to this website Lord Ara Darzi is in the midst of tackling an interim review of the NHS in England.
So over the course of the next year the Department of Health, under Alan Johnson’s leadership, will be setting out how the NHS needs to continue to reform to meet the new challenges of 21st century healthcare and 21st century lives....
And we will also examine how all these changes can be enshrined in a new constitution of the NHS setting out for the first time the rights and responsibilities associated with an entitlement to NHS care.
Where will this be happening Gordon; pray tell, in which country will these new changes will be enshrined in a new constitution?
I believe [these steps] will transform the experience of the NHS for millions of people in this country.
Gordon, why can't you bring yourself to say the name of the country these changes will be taking place in. As the Daily Kos tells us there is no longer a British National Health service, there are four separate and quite different ones.
It rather makes a joke of the Fabians' call to create a national British holiday to celebrate the National Health Service.
I really wish that leading Conservative bloggers and Shadow Secretaries of State (for example) would start doing their jobs and pick Gordon up on this deliberate avoidance of the word 'England' when he is talking about policy that only affects England.
Trackback URL for this post:
Here's a picture of the prime minister signing the NHS constitution.
Speaking in Downing Street, the PM said there was not a family in Britain that did not call on the NHS “for cure, for care, for help, for advice, for mentoring” and that the Consti...