Javid’s ‘new’ ideas short on funding

Javid’s lengthy (8,600 word, 16-page) speech on “reforms” on March 8 was laden with waffle, two feeble jokes, and centred on half a dozen rehashed old ideas – but gave not a single clue as to where the money is supposed to come from to make any of them deliver improved services.

He talked about an enhanced “right to choose” a health care provider for elective care: this right already exists in the NHS Constitution. And it’s cold comfort to an older patient losing their mobility on the country’s longest waiting lists in Birmingham, for example, to be given the chance to compete with millions of other patients who are also facing long delays, for the chance of securing a quicker operation at Guy’s and St Thomas’s in London, where the delays are shorter.

Patients want timely access to good quality care where they are, not a system that requires them to spend weeks trawling the internet, join a bunfight with other desperate patients to get on another operating list – and then have to trek a hundred miles or more to, and back from, a distant operating theatre.

That’s not choice: that’s a nightmare – and without the massive additional spending called for by SOSNHS, it does nothing to expand capacity.

Full story in The Lowdown, 8 March 2022