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NHS Plc: The Privatisation of Our Health Care Hardcover – 3 Aug 2004

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Verso Books (3 Aug. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844670112
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844670116
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 0.3 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 579,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'If "what matters is what works", this book makes clear that healthcare markets can not serve the British people well.’ -- Iain Chalmers, Editor, James Lind Library

'Professor Pollock offers a critical contribution to the key issues in contemporary political and policy debate.' -- James Johnson, British Medical Association

‘This is a shocking story, brilliantly told, by one of the leading thinkers in the field of public health policy.' -- Raymond Tallis, author of Hippocratic Oaths

About the Author

Allyson Pollock is Professor of Health Policy and Chair of the Health Policy and Health Services Research Unit at University College London.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is an extremely well-written and though-provoking analysis of the effects of labour's healthcare policies, and obsession with targets and red tape, on the current state of the NHS. I would highly recommend that every doctor and nurse working in the NHS read this as it opened my eyes to the extent of the current situation and helped me understand how we got here in the first place. In the current political climate, where debate on healthcare has been put centre-stage since the case of Margaret Dixon, it is an important and necessary book to read.
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Format: Paperback
Despite spending long years in opposition quite rightly defending the NHS, and winning the 1997 election in part on a promise to save it, New Labour developed a set of reforms that brought private interest into the NHS in a manner that went well beyond the already demented dreams of Margaret Thatcher. Allyson Pollocks brilliantly argued and well sourced book describes how this happened, the forces that were behind the "modernisation" policy, and the short term and long-term ramifications of it for the NHS, in a prose that is clear and comprehensible for the general reader.

When the Labour party was voted into office in 1997 there was absolutely no way that the vast majority of those who elected them were voting for this policy of piece-meal break-up and privatisation of the NHS. The Orwellian nature of the language that was used to mask the realities of the "modernisation" project; the plethora of public relations personnel and endless spinning involved; the bullying and cajoling of opponents of the reform (including Allyson Pollock herself) all speak volumes for the lack of any popular mandate. So much for British democracy.

Pollock details the growing effects of "modernisation" on many NHS services including hospitals, GP's, and long term care for the elderly, and makes a cogent case for the negative effects that the marketisations, commodifications, and privatisations have had on the viability of our National Health Service. In short, the private sector wanted, and largely got, a cut of the NHS's revenues to boost their turnover and profits without incurring even a minimal amount of risk. In a way it is rather reminiscent of the cost-plus contracts that the Bush administration awarded by the bucket load in Iraq.
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Format: Paperback
If you only read one deconstructive critique of government policy and the NHS, make it this book.

Professor Pollock is unwelcome in Government circles- because she shines a spotlight on the inconsistencies (aka lies), ambiguities (aka favouring big business over NHS) and changes (aka policies doomed to failure even before they waste billions of taxpayers money) that have beset the NHS over the last fifteen years.

Since she originally wrote this book (and was rubbished by Gvt about much of the content), many of her predictions, insights and conclusions have been proven correct.

It should make your blood boil
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Format: Paperback
A very important piece of work. Politicians have done their level best to rubbish the author and to some extent they have acheived their goal. The NHS was failing due to chronic under investment (£200 billion from inception according to the Wanless report), not due to the fact that it was a publically run service. It has probably been one of the most efficient public services in the world. The arguement that private companies do better is totally unproven and overstated. I work in a PFI hospital which gives 10% of its income to the private consortia every year (>£30 million). Not surprisingly, we are heavily in debt and have too few beds! This strangles the development of new services and new ideas - Business plans are just put on hold. The medical and nursing professions have let the public down by not uniting against these disastrous policies. Unfortunately the BMA and Royal Colleges are full of yes men awaiting their pensions and gongs. It's now up to the grass roots to spread the word about this book and salvage some of the NHS. Don't get me wrong, we do need a bigger private sector and we should incentivise the wealthy to go private, but the current system of giving public money to private companies is absolutley outragous. Good luck to Prof Pollock. The fact that MPs have tried to discredit her is a testemant to her vision and the truth. I am making my goal to inform as many people as I can about this book. Read it and make your own mind up - after spitting blood, you might just agree.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Allyson Pollock provides extensive, well researched evidence that exposes the truth behind the stealthy, costly and wasteful privatisation of the NHS.

Her book provides hard evidence to show that the way that the NHS is being "managed" wastes huge amounts of taxpayers money. This book shows why and how the many hard working NHS professionals are being badly served by a completely unecessary, ill concieved and fragmented bureaucracy and its so-called "managers".

Allyson shows how any why the present NHS management system is a bad deal for taxpayers and a bad deal for patients.

Here are some quotes:

"The NHS is being broken up into hundreds of competing trading organisations."

Allyson shows that this is being done to conform to the needs of the ill-conceived "internal market". Allyson also exposes the fundamental flaws that underpin the "internal market" concept.

----------------
So who wants the internal market and who benefits from it?

Well, you can expose the roots of any process by asking just two questions:
1: Who pays for it?
2: Who wants it?

The answer to Question 1 is easy: It is the taxpayer and the patients who pay.
The answer to Question 2 is not so clearly visible.

"The dismantling process and its consequences are profoundly anti-democratic and opaque. The catchphrases of 'public-private partnerships', 'modernisation','value for money','local ownership and the rest conceal the extent and real nature of what is happening; moreover, the complexity of health care allows the reality of its transformation into a market to be buried under a thousand half truths.
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