Former UNISON Lead Negotiator on NHS Terms & Conditions and TU Lead on Social Partnership Forum. Former member of Health Authority and Community Health Council. Works in NHS as HR Consultant.
Comment on: Health adviser to prime minister appointed
This is the Nick Seddon who said in February "The debate internationally is not about whether or not you can allow good, different providers to do healthcare... The debate is just about how best to manage that." In March he told the Economist that "...erratic reforms, pension liabilities and onerous rules on hiring and firing staff deter private providers, who can generally find quicker returns abroad." So we can see where this is all going can't we?
Lots of members of the hanging brigade out in force I see- like cowards hiding behind the cloak of anonymity. Those who get kicks from demanding DN's head should beware of what they wish for. With Mark Britnell waiting in the wings, the break up and privatisation of the NHS could be the consequence.
I am not sure if someone who previously boasted of delivering leaflets for the Labour Party would be acceptable to the Government. Perhaps he deelivers coalition party leaflets nowadays! Mark Britnell was the architect of the marketisation of the NHS so perhaps he is being brought back to finish the job - and succeed Nicholson. Rumour had it that he was a favourite for the NHSCB job until No 10 moved quickly to confirm DB in place.
What is so interesting about this is that it resonates with similar events in 2008/09 under Labour. Then Ministers were unsighted on civil servants quietly changing the rules on competition under the radar. we had 'Necessity not Nicety' written by Mark Britnell pushing greater competition in commissioning, the Principles of Co-operation and Competition - that were only about competition and revisions to the NHS Procurement Guide that first introduced the Any Willing Provider model. Of course the jury will be out on whether Coalition Ministers knew precisely what Section 75 Regs were designed to do. But it only goes to underline the point that the greatest pro-market ideologues are in the Dept of Health rather than necessarily on the front bench!
Unite with less than 80,000 members in the NHS and GMB with less than 25,000 are not influential in this decision. Their stance is opportunistic - hoping to nick disaffected members from the two largest unions - RCN with 250,000 and UNISON with 350,000 in the NHS. The other small professional unions are likely to accept.