James Forsyth

An untrumpeted change

An untrumpeted change
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John Rentoul rightly flags up the story in this morning’s FT that about 100,000 NHS patients have gone private and had the state pick up the tab, the private hospitals have had to agree to do the work at the NHS price. For those of us who would like to see the NHS move towards a model where the state pays for healthcare but it is provided by a whole panoply of providers, this is an encouraging step. This kind of consumer-focused reform is hard to reverse.

The story, as John notes, hasn’t got as much coverage as it should. John blames this on the press’s lack of interest in policy stories. But it is also the case that the Brown government, which is currently slowing down if not reversing Blair’s NHS reforms, hasn’t chosen to trumpet this story.