December 2023
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Dear NHS – please stop wasting our money!

A couple of days ago, I did a blog on a useless quango called Monitor that was set up to regulate NHS trusts. It was Monitor that noticed nothing wrong at all at Mid-Staffs NHS Trust as around 1,400 patients were slaughtered.

Monitor has since been rapidly expanding its empire, its staff and its spending and now describes its role as  “Monitor’s job is to make the health sector work better for patients”.

But hold on a minute – there seem to be lots of other supposed ‘regulators’ all claiming to do pretty much the same thing.

Here’s a small example of the problem:

New Labour set up at least one new healthcare regulator each year it was in power, though 2004 was a bumper year with no fewer than three new regulators being imposed on us.

– In 2001, we got the National Patient Safety Agency – about £30 million a year and over three hundred staff – to improve patient safety in the NHS”.

– In 2002, there was the Nursing and Midwifery Council – about £24m a year and two hundred and forty plus staff “to protect the public by ensuring that nurses and midwives provide high standards of care”. In 2002 we also were given the NHS Confederation – £26.5m a year – “to help members improve health and patient care”.

– In 2003 the Health Protection Agency began work – £250m a year and over three thousand staff. It’s role to provide an integrated approach to protecting UK public health”. In the same year there was the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency – £80m budget and eighty staff

– In 2004 our healthcare bureaucrats hit the jackpot. In January, Monitor (see blog Who Monitors the Monitors) appeared on the scene – initially over £13m a year but now over £60m a year. There was also the Healthcare Commission – £80m a year and over five hundred staff – the Healthcare Commission is committed to making sure that patients are at the centre of everything we do”. And not to forget the Commission for Social Care Inspection – £164m and 2,335 staff.

I could go on. There are still a few more to come. But you probably get the picture by now.

Moreover, there are also over 3,000 more penpushers at the Department of Health – “raising standards in health and care, ensuring everyone is treated with compassion and respect” – costing us almost £300m a year.

All these mostly useless, over-paid, over-pensioned bureaucrats were apparently Blair’s and Brown’s way of fulfilling the pledge given in New Labour’s 1997 election manifesto, ‘the key is to root out unnecessary administrative cost and to spend money on the right things – frontline care’.

Looking at what had actually happened, one commentator recently remarked, ‘of all the billions poured into the NHS, it is just sickening to see how much of it has been soaked up by this ever-expanding bureaucracy, particularly these quangos’.

To repeat what I have written previously – the NHS doesn’t need any more of our money. The NHS is awash with our money. But sadly, like so many areas of the useless, over-bureaucratised public sector, the NHS wastes massive amounts of our money on itself and so can’t afford to do the job we pay it to do.

1 comment to Dear NHS – please stop wasting our money!

  • chris

    I saw a headline which said that any economic recovery was due to increased salaries not higher GDP. As you keep saying the public sector increasingly employs more and more highly paid but unproductive people.

    This is paid for by taxes to some extent but the Government keeps borrowing £8B per month. This effectively means that the public sector is being paid for on the government’s credit card and we pay the minimum payment.(an get stuck with the debt.

    Meanwhile all those public sector workers buy/lease ever larger numbers of german cars. So our taxes and borrowing are supporting german car workers.The same could be said for many imported items including US weapons/planes etc.

    Isn’t Osborne just doing an economic hit job for the bankers? Just look at Greece.

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