Labour’s new leader Ed Miliband likes targets and private finance initiative hospitals, and doesn’t like the switch to GP commissioning consortia, the Health Policy Insight website reported.
The blog reported comments from the Labour leadership hustings on health, revealing the winner’s belief that NHS targets were a good idea that went too far, leaving NHS staff feeling excluded from service change.
An article by Mr Miliband on his “vision to rebuild trust” appeared in The Sunday Telegraph the day after he was unveiled as the next Labour leader. Quick work, bearing in mind his victory was only announced at teatime, and an interesting choice of newspaper. But there was no mention of health or the NHS in his article.
Perhaps he had been rereading his own comments to the leadership health hustings, where he wisely observed: “Health service reorganisation is a set of words that make most people’s eyes glaze over.”
Luckily for the tabloids the far more intriguing storyline of fat patients returned. The Press Association reported that half of Scotland’s 14 health boards had spent more than £150,000 each since 2008 on special beds for patients weighing 39 stone or more. Five boards bought beds for people weighing over 50 stone.
Tam Fry, of the National Obesity Forum, described it as “a terrible indictment on society”, according to the Daily Record.
In England, NHS users were recommending “bribing” people to lose weight and get fitter.
Almost two thirds of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence’s citizens council backed the use of incentives, including cash, to help people end unhealthy habits, in a report that will be considered by NICE’s board.
But the Daily Express quoted the Taxpayers’ Alliance’s Fiona McEvoy, who called the proposals “patronising” and “a quick fix”.