Controversy over proposed NHS changes

The government’s proposed changes to the National Health Service continue to be controversial, with the editors of three leading journals claiming that the reforms have created an “unholy mess”.

In an editorial published in Health Service Journal, Nursing Times and British Medical Journal, the publications’ three editors said the changes are "unnecessary, poorly conceived and badly communicated" and have "destabilised and damaged" the health service.

The Society’s own view was given in our response to the ‘NHS listening exercise’ last year, where we said:

"The Society believes a collaborative model to be essential to this. We strongly recommend that service users and care providers should work together with common, agreed aims and with full respect being paid to service users’ views. A non-paternalistic approach to providing service users with information relevant to their own care should be adopted.

Greater flexibility in care … would also be beneficial. Appropriate information provision and a continuing dialogue between service users and healthcare providers is one way of helping to ensure that care is matched to individual service-user needs. This will require a great deal of education and training for all parties."

Commenting on recent developments, Dr Carole Allan, the British Psychological Society’s President, said:

"I am concerned that  the Bill as it currently stands still proposes a competitive model for services which will consume NHS time,money and resources from the overriding need to provide high quality, integrated care for some of the most vulnerable groups within our communities."