An independent NHS at last?9th May 2007
Only weeks after a group of leading academics from Birmingham University's Health Services Management Centre gave their support for the establishment of an NHS Board, the British Medical Association has today added its weight to the debate.
Is this the beginning a slow-building clamour for change at the top? I wonder. Having long held the view that an NHS run by politicians has inherrent conflicts of interest built into the very heart of the organisation I welcome the debate. Politicians should do politics; managers should manage.
Remember when the government handed the power to set interest rates to the Bank of England? Suddenly we all got the sense that the ship was steady and the monthly decisions to change interest rates were in the hands of a team who were qualified and experienced enough to steer our economic future without political pressure.
This has to be the way forward for the NHS. After years of change heaped upon change, and reconfiguration after reconfiguration, our health service now needs a steady hand at the helm; there are difficult decions ahead - many of them will be unpopular - and the last thing the NHS needs is a management team swayed into repeatedly doing and undoing the wrong thing by the baying masses.
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