Saturday, 5 February 2011

No evidence supports NHS reforms

The other day in The coalition so far: good or bad? I expressed, among other things, some doubts about the government's proposed NHS reforms.

It's worse than I thought. The excellent Ben Goldacre of "Bad Science" fame (best known for his brave and relentless skewering of the claptrap that is "homeopathy") now writes in Andrew Lansley and his imaginary evidence that there have been 15 major reorganisations of the NHS in 30 years. An upheaval every two years! What an absurdly wasteful and inefficient way of carrying on. Yet, according to Goldacre, no real attempt was made to measure the effectiveness of any of these "reforms". And so there is no evidence to support what the government now wants to do.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley keeps talking about "evidence" to back his proposals. Goldacre shows that there is no such evidence. In reality, nobody knows whether they will improve things or make them worse.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would rather that the person closest to me in the NHS (my own doctor) who should know me best and to whom I have easiest and pretty much guaranteed access, should be the one who has to justify any 'no' decision on treatment to me and not some anonymous bureaucrat who I have never met.

The success or failure of such a policy relies on the calibre of GPs and the relationship each of us has with them but I'll wager it'll bring the money closer to me as the 'customer' and should do away with some more of the 'men in grey suits'.