By Pf Editor, Chris Ross
Another day, another debate about NHS reform. Late last month, the Guardian ran an interesting piece about the latest YouTube opus to ‘go viral’ – a rap that lambasts the DH White Paper, Liberating the NHS. In it, 22-year old Loughborough binman-cum-Twitter-celebrity, MC NxtGen, repeatedly – and personally – attacks the Health Secretary and his plans. It’s a powerful refrain:
“Andrew Lansley, greedy! Andrew Lansley, t*sser! The NHS is not for sale, you grey-haired manky codger.”
It is neither articulate nor poetic, but, in the competitive world of social media, it has achieved ‘cut through’ and sparked a Twitter and Facebook frenzy. In fact, its message is strengthened by an artist who has clearly done his research. NxtGen has been able to deliver his critique of the proposed reforms in a much more succinct fashion than Lansley himself has been able to do in selling his policies to the general public. It’s worth a listen – though I’m not sure I’d download his album.
Subsequently, the beleaguered Health Secretary has done his best to show he’s ‘down with the kids’. The Government is to take a ‘natural break’ in the passage of the Bill, to engage further with stakeholders and critics – and to ‘reassure’ opponents over fears of privatisation. Lansley wants us to know he’s listening – to MPs, to clinicians and to 22-year-old binmen from Leicestershire.
As ever, proposed amendments abound. The latest come from the House of Commons’ health committee,who claim the Bill’s determination to place commissioning responsibilities solely in the hands of GPs is a mistake. In a proposal that would have ramifications for UK pharma’s already evolving customer-base, the committee says family doctors should be joined by a range of other stakeholders, including nurses and hospital doctors, in deciding how NHS funds are spent. It advocates replacing prospective GP Consortia with “NHS Commissioning Authorities” that capture opinion from other specialities.
The listening government has already dismissed the idea. Perhaps its architects need to re-present it as a 3-minute rap.
Contact the author: firstname.lastname@example.org