General Procurement

Get Ready Suppliers, The PM has Opened the NHS Floodgate!

Prime Minister David Cameron

Prime Minister David Cameron

David Cameron’s article in the Telegraph on Sunday left a bitter taste in the air for many readers. The PM wants “the decisive end of the old-fashioned, top-down, take-what-you’re-given model of public services” In turn, opening up ALL services to tender, starting with the NHS as a model. Polly Toynbee wrote in the Guardian on Monday

“…the NHS open to contract by “any willing provider”. Any company can claim the right to provide any part of the NHS – even if the local GP consortium is very happy with the NHS surgeons providing operations.”

She highlights the downside of these open to tender services being “traded as financial instruments, sliced and diced according to risk and sold on.” The 1332 comments to follow the article are a mob of extremely irate voters. The general feel of the readers is distrust for the current PM. One commenter noted, “None of this has been voted for – it is in effect a coup”, another said “the death of Public Services” and one clever suggestion was to “sell the Crown Jewels” to put money back into services! As a whole no one was overly impressed with the news.

As a tax payer, mother and frequent user of the NHS I can’t say I am overly impressed. However, the long time employee of Tenders Direct and the supplier focused side of me, is actually secretly excited for all of our customers out there. The long awaited contracts will be coming in hard and fast, so get ready suppliers; the floodgate has opened.

1 reply »

  1. I’m not sure that I agree with your scepticism, personally I think the NHS is a basket case and it needs radical overhaul, but you’re entitled to your view and I’m not going to censor it.

    The problem is the NHS is now such a huge politically sensitive beast that it’s almost impossible to do anything without the shroud wavers appearing and forecasting the end of the world. The shroud wavers are normally those independent (not) organisations such as the BMA and Unite, who clearly don’t have any vested interest in maintaining the status quo! GP’s are already private contractors, they work for themselves for pretty significant profits and cushy conditions, dentists, opticians, pharmacists are the same.

    In hospitals we pay consultants a substantial salary, but then allow them to spend a large chunk of their time doing private work. Consultants also award themselves, or at least each other as members of the ‘old boys club’ merit bonuses. A merit bonus is often more than £60,000 on top of their salary of £120k and is then payable every year after award and contributes towards their final salary computation as well! These merit bonuses cost the NHS more than £220 million last year.

    The principle of the NHS is great, but the practical implementation is not sustainable.Personally I don’t see that some ‘sensible’ opening of the market to competition is a bad thing.

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