COMMENT: A second term may see a fresh approach to NHS management as we know it

What surprises might Labour have in store for the NHS if elected to a second term?

One could be handing over the management of NHS units to the private sector.

As we report on our news pages, ministers may be considering awarding contracts - akin to those in private finance initiative projects - for managerial staff in 26 'fast-track' treatment centres.

The private sector is keen to respond to such an opportunity. It may be in a strong position to do so, not least because so many senior managers displaced from NHS careers have sought a living in consultancy and could provide the vital experience to make such a move work.

If that happens, would it stop at fast-track centres? Hardly: how long before private sector managers were routinely parachuted into failing, red-light NHS hospitals? That could give NHS management a whole new dimension.