Pathology review: cui bono?

As a benefit to whom?

Lucius Cassius’ illuminating question remains more important than ever.

Questions: Lord Carter, is facing questions after it emerged he has received large payments from a health service business

Lord Carter, author of the Report of the Review of NHS Pathology Services in England Chaired by Lord Carter of Coles (2005-08) which started major changes to pathology services, has had to step down as chairman of the NHS Co-operation and Competition Panel (CCP) because of a conflict of interest with his more lucrative private interests.  This includes McKesson, an American company convicted of fraudulent activities, which runs the NHS payroll system.  How does the work that men were paid to do live on after their resignation?

Click the cover picture to read the report.  Page 13 lists 6 priorities for change: a framework for quality improvement, stand-alone pathology providers, integrated IT, a national tariff fixing prices, large scale workforce change and service improvement, and stronger skills in the management of change.    Industrialisation through managerialism.  This is supposed to solve a multitude of problems but makes them worse.

And where did his Lordship come from?  Click this quote to read more: 

“Lord Carter, 66, is said to be a consummate operator in both business and Whitehall.  He was made a Labour peer by Tony Blair in 2004 and he was best man to former Justice Secretary Jack Straw at both his weddings.”

Does it make you wonder if the pathology review was not about pathology or patients, but simply to deliver pathology services into the hands of companies favoured by Tony and his friends?  Companies favoured because they would pay these people rewards that seemed to make their behaviour extremely worthwhile.

It could be an American company whose list of board members and consultants warrants investigation.  It could be a company closer to home such as the Virgin company, Assura, that will ensure Sir Richard Branson’s daughter doesn’t have to make do with an NHS GP salary.  Not a GP partnership for her; instead a medical empire.

It is not a free market at all.   It is a corrupt, corporatised market where only companies rewarding politicians well stand a chance of winning business.

"Any color you like so long as it's black"

Free markets offer customers choice.  NuLabour offered “choice” that customers didn’t want – “Choose any option you want and it won’t work.”  Customers preferred options that weren’t broken.

Should we be considering the choice of horses for courses or does that distract us from thinking about the birds?

Feathering someone else's nest. Programmed institutional death?

Have you noticed how the old left wing/right wing divide has become misleading?  It allows both wings to miss the dimorphic parasites of the political/bankster class that are consuming the fat middle of the bird.

Left wing + right wing = perfect balance. Bird dead.

What’s going to save the day?  QIPP perhaps.  It stands for Quality, Innovation, Productivity, Prevention.  It is being applied across the NHS including pathology.  Like accreditation, it is the sort of BIG IDEA that politicians love.  It is simple.  It gives them hope beyond their competence.  Like accreditation, there is limited evidence that it works.  Strangely, ISO accreditation forms a surprisingly small part of the QIPP programme.  As if accreditation has no relevance to quality, innovation, productivity or prevention, which is true.

Will QIPP fail?  Certainly there are questions which will one day have answers.

“The QIPP programme itself did not escape criticism. The incoming government had asked challenging questions, Easton said, about the evidence base for QIPP and about its success in engaging with the right people. He admitted that the move from a PCT centric to GP led commissioning system had exposed some weaknesses. Referring to GPs, he said: “There is no doubt that we have excluded – or downplayed the role of – those key players in many consultations.”

“This point reveals the fundamental problem of the QIPP programme, which is that it cannot succeed as a purely top-down initiative. Easton is the first to recognise that the kind of cultural change needed to bring about QIPP is beyond the power of governments and civil servants to deliver. QIPP requires new thinking and behaviours and it means people at every level of the NHS taking ownership of quality, patient safety and other aspects of service improvement. It requires collaboration, which means more than working together; it means redistributing power. As the senior managers who attend the Confederation know, putting clinicians and patients in charge of the NHS has consequences for the people who are in charge now.”

Expect pathology to continue to do as it’s told, implement Carter’s plans, QIPP, and accreditation.  How much money will it cost or save?

This entry was posted in Cartel, Economics, Laboratory medicine, Medicine, NHS, Politics, Questions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Pathology review: cui bono?

  1. Pingback: CPA assures GSTS Pathology failures | ISOwatch

  2. Pingback: The mercy of quality? | ISOwatch

  3. What’s Happening i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve found It positively useful and it has aided me out loads. I am hoping to contribute & aid different customers like its helped me. Good job.

    • ISOwatcher says:

      The post above is about who benefits from the privitisation of the UK National Health Service. Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and their cronies set up the NHS for privitisation. Their favoured comrades will reap the profits as directors and consultants in the companies that will take over NHS services.

      The blog is about a cartel of government-approved bodies that charge other organisations to inspect them. They claim that by complying with detailed management standards written by the ISO organisations achieve “quality”. The cartel’s definition is that compliance equals quality. Many would disagree. There is no real proof of this and many have found that complying with inspectors rather than customers reduces quality greatly. Accreditation has a particularly bad effect in laboratories but leading doctors and scientists have failed to see that the cartel’s claims are bogus. They still believe in the Emperor’s New Clothes.

      The inspectionist mentality is an important part of why modern life has become so stressful. The EU’s edicts support the cartel but also go well beyond it in creating endless unhelpful regulations – what else can an unnecessary government do in the years before it is swept away?

      If you don’t suffer accreditation to an ISO standard or a similar standard, count yourself lucky, but you’ll find the blog very boring. Therefore it’s spiced up with economic issues that affect us all.

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