Despite the warnings about the secrecy, the impossible timetables and the financial imperatives surrounding these plans the Government seem determined to press ahead with them. When the plan for your area is released the questions outlined above might be ones you want to ask your local "STP lead" about.
Public health nursing has its origins in the mid 1800's when the inequalities of the 19th century, and the ruinous health outcomes of the poorest in society, became increasingly apparent. Following the Boer War, in which the Government struggled to find enough young people who were fit enough to recruit as soldiers, infant welfare in particular fast became a priority.
When the practical and economic feasibility of a routine 7-day NHS has been roundly debunked by senior doctors, service providers and analyists, it is only natural to ask how this is going to happen. Maybe, we ought to be thinking a little more naturally ourselves, and prepare for our complementary secretary of state for health to give us a very complementary 7-day routine NHS.
NHS general practice turns 68 today, which is a cause for celebration and a time to reflect on its place in the family of national institutions. But it feels like the mood of Government has turned from looking at general practice as a wise and valued guide through life, to seeing it as a burdensome hanger-on from a past age.
The plan is to privatise the NHS. Blinded by the trillions of dollars the health industry generates for the USA and the subsequent donations private healthcare providers would quite possibly give to their party as a thank you, they are clear that the blight of the state-provided NHS to the free markets must go...
Maybe there really is just a sense of futility about the whole thing. Maybe it would be easier to sit back and let the powers that be take control and dismantle our health service, transforming it into whatever they feel is the best for the British public. My issue with this argument is that it is not for the government to decide for us. As many of the fantastic speakers at Crash Call reminded us, this is OUR NHS. We pay for it and we use it, so we should have a say in its future.