PIP implant scandal and the NHS
Several folk will have been bemused to hear bc Lansley bewail his lack of progress with the private cosmetic health clinics who were responsible for fitting 95% of the dangerous implants.
Several others will bemoan the lack of action from the watchdog. NHS surgeons began raising concerns about the failure rate of these implants in 2006. Why has it taken the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) till now to raise their concerns?
Richard Horton is the editor of The Lancet. He wrote an article about the scandal in today’s Guardian which had this conclusion.
“The British government's health and social care bill will open up the NHS to private sector providers. The events of the past month show why this policy is so misguided. When something goes wrong in the NHS the entire organisation can be mobilised to address the problem coherently, transparently, equitably, and to the very highest of standards. But in the case of PIP implants, over 95% of which were done by private providers, what have we seen? Andrew Lansley, the health secretary, has had to castigate private cosmetic clinics for failing to gather and provide high-quality data on their procedures. The best he could do was ask that they "take similar action" to the NHS; he could not require such action. Bruce Keogh, Medical Director of the NHS went further: "We can place no reliance upon [their] figures."
Yet this is the future for the NHS. A system of healthcare that cannot be held accountable by the government; one that has no obligation to collect or supply accurate information about what it is doing; one that fiercely resists its duty of care to patients; and one that is more concerned with cost than it is with quality. The evidence is before us: it's time to kill this bill.”