The government keep telling us that the NHS is failing patients, says Baroness Thornton, but evidence suggests otherwise.
I am asking my question on Monday because I want to know what the Department of Health is doing to celebrate yet another report which says that the NHS is doing a pretty good job. This time it is the Royal Society of Medicine "comparing the USA, UK and 17 Western countries' efficiency and effectiveness in reducing mortality".
One of the reasons that this report – and indeed other studies like the Commonwealth Fund Reports and the level of patient satisfaction – is important is that it gives a lie to David Cameron and Andrew Lansley's justification for their proposed NHS vandalism. The government keeps telling us that the NHS is failing patients, is in a terrible state and the only solution is for it to be turned inside out and market forces introduced. But evidence keeps popping up to show that this is not true. This report shows that, in cost-effective terms, i.e. economic input versus clinical output, the US healthcare system was one of the least cost-effective in reducing mortality rates whereas the UK was one of the most cost-effective.
You might think that any self respecting secretary of state for health would be proud about another good report. Have we heard a whisper from Andrew Lansley about the report from the Royal Society of Medicine? Did he congratulate NHS staff on a job well done?
A peer since 1998, Baroness Thornton has been opposition spokesperson for the Equalities Office since 2010.