Welcome to my Blog

I was the Head of Policy and Public Affairs at UNISON Scotland until my retirement in September 2018. I now work on several policy development projects, so all views are very definitely my own. You can also follow me on Twitter. I hope you find this blog interesting and I would welcome your comments.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Nuffield Trust healthcare report

A report by an English research group claims that the NHS in England provides better value for money than elsewhere in the UK. A key reason according to the report is the focus on "targets, strong performance management, public reporting of performance by regulators and financial incentives."

Perhaps this finding is not that surprising when you look at the Board of this 'independent' research group. It is stuffed full of those very same regulators and others with a vested interest in the English NHS model. Not to mention the odd private healthcare interest who might profit from the introduction of privatisation to Scotland.

It is self evident when you read the report that the authors just don't get devolution. They regret the fact that the Treasury can't intervene in Scotland to enforce performance. The explanation that appears to have passed them by is because we have an elected parliament and our own finance function.

But the main problem with the report is the focus on crude, narrow indicators of performance that take little account of deprivation, health inequality and Scotland's geography. That is why we have higher levels of spending on the NHS in Scotland. The authors would be better employed looking at the root causes of ill health rather than play with outdated hospital statistics.

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