diamond geezer

 Monday, April 01, 2013

Good morning, and welcome to NHS plc.

We're very proud to be taking over today as England's go-to medical operations agency.

NHS plc will bring the same dedication to service you've grown to love from the old NHS, but with a greater emphasis on choice and customer quality.

We want NHS plc to become your one-stop wellness destination, your provider of choice. That's why today sees the launch of clinical commissioning groups in local management clusters, to baseline a paradigm shift going forward.

The old National Health Service has had a good innings since it was introduced more than 60 years ago. But it was a product for a different generation - wasteful, ill-structured, over-compassionate. So we're introducing a top-down restructure that will reformulate the NHS from the roots up.

Our strategic aim is to drive down operating costs through supply based consolidation whilst leveraging group spend to provide robust, scalable services. According to our market research, that's what you want too.

Put simply, our new market-based approach prioritises delivery over outcomes, efficiency over waste, and excellence over need. That means patients will get what they deserve more quickly, and the country will squander less of its valuable resources in the process. No right-minded citizen could disagree.

We can no longer afford to dole out non-essential treatments to those who contribute nothing to society. Why should the workshy jump the queue in A&E? Why should the obese be prescribed unnecessary treatments? Why should the disabled take millions out of a system without paying sufficient back? Today's changes to the system are the first steps towards prioritising care for those who deserve it. It's only fair.

Don't worry, the basics of free healthcare will continue for all. If you're injured or dying, of course we'll fix you. If you have chronic need, our contractors will be there. But for less life-critical conditions and for optional enhancements, additional charges may apply. Rest assured, our consultants will rest at nothing to bring you the healthcare your investment deserves.

To incentivise engagement, and to reward thrift, we'll be offering lifetime NHS subscriptions based on small monthly contributions. If you'd like to top-up by paying a little extra, that'd be great. If your National Insurance is up to date, all well and good. But for those on benefits who pay nothing into the system, expect to wait a little longer and to get a little less.

This bold healthcare solution acts by bringing on board our friends and partners in the private sector. Many of these companies already clean your streets, staff your call centres and service your town halls. Their involvement is absolutely nothing to be concerned about. Only by embracing competition can we rescue NHS employees from a life of waste in the public sector. By shifting staff onto looser contracts, and with a ruthless focus on target-setting, even greater savings can be reinvested where it really matters.

Think of this not as a change but a behavioural nudge. If you need us, we'll be here. Even better, we'll promise a full money-back guarantee if you die in our care, which is something the old NHS never offered.

Transformation is never easy. But in this case it's been a damned sight easier than we'd ever have hoped. Thank you for your compliance.

1. You can now make a first contribution to your new Personal Health Account by signing up here.
2. If you're able to put aside a small amount each week, you'll find future treatment becomes easier.
3. You may find that your local hospital closes. Don't worry, this is to improve overall standards of care.
4. Universal Credit vouchers may not be spent on Emergency Healthcare Top-Ups.
5. We're making a payment exception for our armed forces. They deserve free premium care for life, obviously.
6. Those on benefits no longer have the right to a hospital room of their own, not unless they pay more.
7. This is absolutely not a backdoor privatisation. However, we will be offering enhanced treatment to shareholders.
8. From today, subscribers can dial 911 to obtain access to a faster emergency callout.
9. You may not notice the changes we're making until you next need our services. That's all well and good, because we want to embed efficient new practices beneath the surface with a minimum of fuss.
10. Think of this more as long-term treatment than invasive surgery. But there's no going back, not after today.

Tomorrow: BMI, AXA, HCA, BUPA, Spire, Circle, Virgin, Ramsay, Nuffield
Today: BMJ, London, Express, BBC Q&A, Telegraph, Independent, Bromley-by-Bow
Yesterday: July 1948, July 1998, July 2012, BBC collection, a short history

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