Listen to the voice of those who matter

It seems as though each new day brings fresh criticism of the Government’s proposals to hand over the NHS budget to GP Consortia.

It’s a theme well documented in these blogs  as we’ve tracked sentiment toward the plans first articulated in the White Paper back in August last year. We’ve witnessed the ideas weather a lot of the initial storm, but as the formalised Health and Social Care Bill makes it through to committee stage, things could get interesting.

Stakeholders’ concerns are now being re-aired as crucial amendments are made in Parliament to what will soon become legislation.

Of the worried voices, those now being made by the heads of leading patient charities - including Diabetes UK’s Baroness Young – are perhaps the most noteworthy to date. As their joint letter to The Times pointed out: “We’ve heard about the concerns of NHS professionals – now we must listen to the voice of the patients.”

Their address to a major national newspaper shows the extent to which traditional media channels are still so important in the shaping of public and political opinion. But more significantly, Baroness Young has only now spoken out on the Coalition’s health policy - so her comments have made people sit up and listen.

Politicians would be foolish to put the blinkers on to such commentary at this crucial stage in the game. The NHS built its foundations on quality of service and accountability – things which must stay intact if it is to remain a viable institution, cherished by the country.

Max Hammond