Now a damning report says that historians 'will not be kind in their assessment of the coalition government’s record on NHS reform'.
We recall the promise that the NHS was 'safe' in Tory hands and that there would be 'no top down reorganisation'. The history seeks for itself. Not only has there been reorganisation, it has at best been fragmented and disjointed.
The new report highlights some positive developments as a result of the Act including closer involvement of GPs in commissioning services, giving local authorities responsibility for public health and the establishment of health and wellbeing boards. However, it criticises the decision to implement complex organisational changes at a time when the NHS should have been focused on tackling growing pressures on services and an unprecedented funding squeeze.
The changes have left the NHS organisation fragmented and without clear leadership. Dispersing budgets formerly held by Primary Care Trusts between Commissioning Groups, NHS England and local authorities has created a situation where there are no longer single population-based budgets for health care. At a time when it is more crucial to develop coordinated health and social care this has been counterproductive.
The coalition has left the NHS poorly funded, fragmented and unfit to meet the demands of coordinated health and social care.
Read Ray'a Novel: It wasn't always late summer