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article imageOp-Ed: People Power comes to Britain's hospitals

By Alexander Baron     Jan 6, 2012 in Health
The lead story on BBC Television news this morning was the Government's plan to revive public confidence in the National Health Service.
After standing up for us in Europe, Britain's style over substance Prime Minister Call Me Dave has come up with a good idea to match his backbone, namely to reform the National Health Service from the bottom up. David Cameron has had more contact with the NHS than most, his eldest child, Ivan, was born in April 2002 with a serious condition known as Ohtahara syndrome. The Camerons spent a lot of time with NHS staff, but Ivan died aged only six in February 2009. Cameron's predecessor, Gordon Brown also suffered personal tragedy. He and his wife Sarah lost their firstborn, a daughter, when she was only 12 days old.
Among the reforms Cameron wants are a reduction of both red tape and bureaucracy, nurses having more contact with patients, including carrying out hourly ward checks, and - the big one - regular inspections by members of the public. It remains to be seen if those carrying out these inspections will be able to claim reasonable expenses or how they will be selected, presumably government officials won't be stopping people in the street and asking them to test the food or check the toilets in the local hospital, but this is a truly splendid idea, putting us little people in the driving seat and allowing us input.
Call Me Dave probably won't be too happy when he realises this is particular Big Society concept was popularised by a certain Colonel Gadaffi! But, what if it were to be extended to other forms of public service, in particular the police? What for example would have happened if members of the public had been invited to oversee the investigation into the shooting dead of Mark Duggan last August? Now that really would be a turn up for the book.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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