The McWard

The Independent reported today that under the most recent plans to destroy the National Health Service and to privatise it by stealth the Government is prepared to allow corporate sponsorship of hospital wards and clinics.

The plans will allow companies to compare brand awareness by placing their logo on hospital equipment, but will not be allowed to gain a competitive advantage from such advertising (e.g. Durex would not be permitted to sponsor an STI clinic).

The Health Minister, Ben Bradshaw, announced these plans as part of a wider policy of creating competition between hospitals in a bid to drive up patient care standards in England’s hospitals. These plans include allowing Hospitals to advertise through direct mailing and will allow NHS patients to have treatment in private hospitals at the cost of the NHS.

There has been rather lengthy code set up which quite frankly makes little sense in business and marketing terms. It prohibits the usual methods of marketing while keeping the systems in place.

It also sees ironic that we could have McDonalds sponsoring a ward or clinic specialising in Cardiac care or Diabetes. I am also outraged that the Government is allowing commercial companies to advertise in hospitals in such a way. It could be seen as the NHS supporting and/or condoning these companies’ attitudes to health and wellbeing (especially the likes of McDonalds).

This Government is systematically destroying the National Health Service and if they don’t stop now or are not stopped now there will be nothing left of the National Health Service. They are getting desperate to improve the standard of care in the NHS, but are going about it the wrong way. The money hospitals will be spending on advertising could be spent on employing more Doctors, Nurses, Midwifes, and Health Care Assistants – all of which will have an effect on the standard of care that patients receive. It is an obscene waste of public resources.

I fail to see how these policies will improve the standard of patient care. The companies will gain, but will the NHS? Unlikely! All I see happening is that managers will become fixated on how many patients they can steal from other hospitals and will place more emphasis on targets as an indication.

The NHS is being destroyed before our very eyes and we are almost powerless to stop it until the next General Election. Saying that which of the big three can be trusted to run the NHS and will any of them reverse these policies I they get into power. It is a sad day for the Welfare State, a sad day for the NHS and an even sadder day for the citizens of Britain.

To read the story in The Independent click here