Debunking the "myths"

The UK Conservative government have produced plans for the largest re-organisation of the NHS in its 60 year history. The bedrock of this plan is to dismantle service and create a "healthcare market" where (in the words of Oliver Letwin) "hospitals will compete for patients". A competitive system by definition is not collaborative and the result will be deteriorating care for patients.

Since publishing the white paper on the NHS the government has found that all the professional organisations, the health sector unions and large numbers of the public are against their plans. In fact, the only organisations that give their complete support to the government's plans are the private sector who see this as a business opportunity.

At the moment the government has a majority of MPs in Parliament supporting their plans, but this is mainly out of party loyalty rather than due to their knowledge of the Bill. The government are desperate to maintain this majority and so have produced a list of 25 "myths" about the Bill and provided a briefing document providing responses for these "myths". This site is a rebuttal of their responses.

Unlike the government's response (which is to a assert that they are right while providing no evidence) this site will provide evidence to support each rebuttal.

Myth 1: The NHS is being cut
Myth 2: The changes weren’t in either of your parties’ manifestos
Myth 3: The NHS doesn’t need any change
Myth 4: These changes represent the privatisation of the NHS
Myth 5: Private hospitals will take over the NHS
Myth 6: GP consortia will be forced to use the private sector
Myth 7: Every NHS service will need to be competitively tendered
Myth 8: The policy of price competition in the NHS will lead to a "race to the bottom" on quality
Myth 9: Introducing competition will destroy integrated care
Myth 10: Private providers will just cherry-pick the easiest cases, undercutting the NHS
Myth 11: The NHS will cease to be a single, national organisation.
Myth 12: These changes will cost £3 billion
Myth 13: Waiting times will increase
Myth 14: These changes will lead to a postcode lottery
Myth 15: These aims could have been achieved by putting GPs on PCT boards