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Political parties “not capable of running the NHS”

18 August 2009

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A poll has found one in three people believe there is no major political party that is capable of running the NHS.

According to the research for AXA PPP, which provides private health insurance, 29% of the 2,000 people surveyed said “none” of the parties could run the health service.

However, of those who thought a specific party could, 27% chose the Conservatives and 26% chose Labour, even though 63% of people associate the Labour Party with the NHS.

Other figures show that only 20% of the participants think the extra NHS funding under Labour policy has been well spent.

People questioned were concerned about staff having to meet government targets, with 62% of people saying NHS staff were now more concerned with hitting targets than ensuring the quality of patient care was suitable.

Just one in four people said the NHS was managing the issue of cleanliness in hospitals and 62% said they would be worried about catching an infection if they needed to stay in a hospital.

Copyright © Press Association 2009


Which political party do you think is best placed to run the NHS, and why? Your comments (terms and conditions apply):“Absent honesty and the willingness to take responsibility for the real effects of their actions/inactions. no political party is capable of running the NHS – so that means all those currently in existence. I am with the 29% – I am only surprised it is not a higher percantage!” – Name and address withheld

“I think the real problem at the moment is that there is a general election looming. As a result, all parties are showing distinct lacklustre in how the NHS should be managed. Labour hold onto the ideal that they created the NHS, but recently they could also be accused of bringing the NHS to its knees. Whichever government is elected will inherit a significant financial deficit, which will have to be addressed early on in the new term. Practice-based commissioning is still stalling along. Have we really come any great distance forward from the days of fundholding? Some will say we have, others will say not. The recent departure of Lord Darzi was a blow, giving the sweeping nature of the recent health reforms and the fact that many of the areas in the 10-year plan have not been completely realised or have been usurped. If it is assumed that the conservatives are successful at the next election, then they will need to have transparent and clear policy statements from the outset. They are capable of doing this as many of the reforms from the mid eighties through the nineties indicated. They will need to address the funding issue quickly. The NHS has always been unable to fund everything, despite its claims, and as such the quality of care received will vary around the country. I believe it is time for some new policy” – Steve Williams, London