Aside from whether patients welcome the cash payments there are wider issues that need addressing, namely whether the scheme strips cash from the NHS and so weakens the service for others; will it be a subsidy for private care; and who steps in if the money is spent before the year is up?
The failures uncovered by the Francis report go far beyond the compassion of individual nurses and managers, they are a clear warning sign on the dangers of turning a public health service into a competitive market. The British public can see it, why can't the government?
For the UK's senior civil service, 'public interest' is increasingly defined in terms of the private sector's agenda. With high-profile figures moving to private directorship roles and policy making being tailored to corporate interest, the days of a bureaucratic public career are over.
The majority of British voters want to keep the NHS public. The Prime Minister was elected on the promise of no major health reform. So why is parliament backing the Health and Social Care Bill, against the known wishes of the electorate?
The Prime Minister has claimed to be committed to what he called our 'precious' NHS, yet Lansley's bill would destroy Britain's national health service. The government's rhetoric is wearing thin, and we must ensure that the aim of the proposed reforms are kept clearly in view throughout the 'listening exercise' charade
In this lecture, based on the book The Plot Against the NHS, co-author Colin Leys attempts to set the record straight on plans for a new healthcare market. He argues that the healthcare reforms proposed by the Coalition are not as radical as they seem, but are part of a plot to dismantle the NHS born under Blair.