A report on why Mid Staffordshire hospital failings went unchecked for so long makes important points. Robert Francis QC, who led the inquiry, avoided the temptation to blame all that went wrong on a few people who could then be punished, or call for yet another round of reorganisation. Instead he revealed disturbing flaws in the culture of the NHS and other agencies linked with health and social care.
Organisations of health professionals have been lining up to denounce the Health and Social Care Bill. In view of the potential hazards to patients arising from reforms to the National Health Service in England, it is not hard to understand why.
The Health and Social Care Bill passing through UK’s Parliament is prompting heated debate, says Savi Hensman. The government claims that this and other reforms to the National Health Service (NHS) will improve patient care. Campaigners fear that they reflect further steps towards privatisation and a fragmented system, which they believe will be harmful to those in most need.
Shigeaki Hinohara, a Japanese Christian doctor who has carved out a reputation as an expert on healthy aging, marked his 100th birthday on 4 October 2011 by contemplating the potential for celebrating his 110th.
Even if the government is able to push its Health Bill through Parliament in its present form, there may be a heavy political price to pay later, says Savi Hensman. A different way forward is needed for the NHS.