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Letter: New Labour is blind to simple truths.

Byline: W G HAYMES

Sir, - If there is one thing those who work in public services, and in particular education and the NHS, do not need above all else it is yet more imposed structural change: New Labour is slow to notice politicians doing the wrong things without forethought or consultation in order to be seen to be doing something and satisfying the needs of 'The projects', whatever they may be.

Enter majestically the proposed 'foundation hospital' mascot and emblem of New Labour's wide ranging imagination. In reality it is the embellished elitist resurrection of the internal market and the way forward for a two-tier health service, clear evidence of which is that only those with three stars may apply now, pathetically explained away as merely the means to limit the stampede for new legal status. New Labour's astronomers star gaze with sufficient clarity to know they have to sell this balloney as more than an empty shell to a sceptical public which above all else wants a quality service, so they cast around for what some management consultants have told them they need most, which is a unique selling point - that some, not all, of these new-fangled super hospitals will have elected members on their governing bodies.

Why then can not this be applied as it certainly should be to all the presently largely unaccountable NHS Trusts?

The reason remains that the community is not actively considered by the great and the good who reign on the existing bodies.

The key problems of the NHS include lack of internal co-ordination. And a small democratic change in the constitution of all hospitals would open the only way of reform, and give breath to a new internal co-operation between all those who work there, as barriers were removed by the co-ordination and healing of working relationships and practices.

New Labour is blind to this as it, like all hegemonies, has sealed power unto itself.

W G HAYMES Coventry.
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Mar 29, 2003
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