Abstracts: July 7th, 2003

By Allyson Pollock and David Price.This briefing on the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Bill was prepared by the Public Health Policy Unit at UCL and has been sent to MPs in advance of the Commons vote. The authors describe how the Bill turns NHS hospitals into businesses without properly safeguarding the public. They say: “A comprehensive and universal care system aiming for equity through planning is being replaced by a market system of fragmented and competing providers. This will result in greater inequality with access to hospitals on the basis of ability to pay, and where the level and quality of provision will depend on the wealth and resources of local communities.” It is argued that if the Bill is passed it will mark the end of Bevan’s great vision for the NHS, because the creation of Foundation Trusts will compound inequalities in access to healthcare.

The briefing is published by the independent think-tank Catalyst. It is available at http://www.catalystforum.org.uk/pubs/paper15.html