BBC BLOGS - Have Your Say
« Previous | Main | Next »

Which party do you trust with the NHS?

12:36 UK time, Tuesday, 4 May 2010

All of the main UK parties say they are committed to an NHS free at the point of delivery. Is this still a realistic option?

While the NHS is a devolved issue with different policies in different parts of the UK, wherever you live the health service faces similar challenges, as the cost of providing healthcare is being driven up by new medicines and technologies while patient expectations are increasing.

Some of the parties' plans for the health service include David Cameron's promise to "cut the deficit, not the NHS", while Gordon Brown has promised all cancer test results will be provided within a week by 2017, and Nick Clegg will guarantee that the NHS will pay for patients to go private if they do not get diagnosis and treatment on time.

Which of the political parties has the best policy for the NHS? What do you think health and social care provision will look like in the future? Are you a health service worker? What are your views on the parties' health plans?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    Daniel Hannan is my local Tory MEP.

    You remember him...the one that went on American TV and told the USA that the NHS was a 60 year mistake.

    Do I trust the Conservatives with the NHS? Absolutely not!

  • Comment number 2.

    The Conservatives.

    For Brown to promise cancer tst results within a week is a nonsense as if more than one test is required no way can this happen.

    Treatment is already available for NHS patients in private hospitals without a charge to the patients so this knocks Cleggs argument.

  • Comment number 3.

    It doesn't matter.

    Brown spent billions on the health service and it is not better than it used to be.

    Most of the money went to money grabbing doctors who no longer see themselves as providing a service.

    The number of staff has increased beyond reason, yet you still can't get an appointment at the GP in less than a fortnight.

    Go into any hospital and you see loads of lazy staff hanging around talking about football or last night's conquest. Ask them for help and you get glared at for daring to interrupt their little chatting session.

    Something needs to be done to the health service so that those who work in it understand that it is there to serve the public, not to provide them with jobs for life and inflation proofed pensions. Unfortunately none of the political parties seem willing to do what is necessary.

  • Comment number 4.

    The N.H.S. is the best, all any government, can do to keep it that way is to leave it well alone.

  • Comment number 5.

    I understand the question, and I'm sure many will answer it head on (mainly with "ya boo sucks you, my party would 'save' it, your party wouldn't") but in terms of 'trusting' the NHS with Politicians a wider question is do we 'trust' it with a good section of the public - a lot of abuses and drain on the NHS system come from the public who, quite frankly, take the **** with it.

    Respect is a two way street.

  • Comment number 6.



    Who trusts a a politician on any issue these days?

  • Comment number 7.

    Labour like to boast about how much money they put into the NHS, at times more so than about any achievements thay have made with that money. While money is short I would rather the NHS be run efficiently and that policy is set by the people delivering that health care.

  • Comment number 8.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 9.

    Well Peter M anounced in a press conferance on budget day over 9 billion of inediate cuts (IE THIS tax year) around 4billion of which were in the NHS.

    Neither Brown or Darling had the decancy to tell parliment they let their cheif spin doctor anounce them to the press.

  • Comment number 10.

    I wouldn't trust the Conservatives to manage our hospital car park, never mind the whole of the NHS. Privatisation is a cancer on the NHS and while Labour have used PFI deals to bring in privatisation via the back door we all know that the Conservatives would love to privatise healthcare in this country and destroy the NHS in the process.

    18 years of Conservative government left us with crumbling hospitals, demoralised NHS workers & two year long waiting lists.

    13 years of Labour government have left us with £billions of PFI debt, more administrators and managers than medical staff and a culture of irresponsibility that has lead to an increase in hospital acquired diseases.

    Personally, I wouldn't trust either of them to run the NHS, or anything else really.

  • Comment number 11.

    Who do I trust

    none of them

    They are all professional politicians with no experience at running big organisations and therefore are all likely to be incompetent


    After the election they will all cut the health budget as they have promised not to do but must

    The cuts will be administered by NHS managers who will no doubt decide that they are indispensable whilst cancer treatment, A&E, etc are all optional

  • Comment number 12.

    The NHS will get cut, you can bet your bottom dollar on that....
    The NHS is dominated by highly paid 'Managers', pen pushers and 'Diversity Co-ords'....
    These will be the first to go.....

    The NHS (or indeed any public sector organisation) is not the place to be if you want long career prospects. You can bet the 'Managers' will save their own jobs and the workers will be the ones to get the chop.

  • Comment number 13.

    Well, you'd have thought labour would have sorted it out as they are in hock with the unions and the way in which this monolith has been allowed to work in the dark ages without reform, but alas all Gordon did was throw money at it which all dissapeared down a large hole.

    On Friday I went to my newly, badly designed GP (etc) surgery in SE London (Kent borders) There was over 25 people having to stand as the waiting area seats were all overfull - it wasn't as if there was a special clinic on even. The fittest looking ignoring those standing that were having diffculties in standing!

    English was in the minority of the languages heard spoken, as was any European,(if this is not classed as a bigotted remark). Such is the effect upon our services of Labour's total failure and taking for granted of the hard working people whoes votes thety have so crassly taken for granted

    One of our local hospitals is already having to lay off nursing staff (not managers or pen pushers)

  • Comment number 14.

    The NHS is not so much a political issue it is a management issue.
    NuLab approach has been to build a huge pyramid of bureaucracy and to centralise control with never ending target for increased efficiency by which they mean financial cost cutting. The result has been patient services have been cut back as the money has been diverted into "Management".
    The Tory's on the other hand preach "Value for Money" and wish to reduce expenditure. But they will not reduce the established management to do it. Net result further cuts in services.
    What is needed a return of Hospitals to local independent control with the minimum of management with a Medical Director in charge and an administration staff to deal with the management. Billions could then be return to providing medical care and restore the NHS to its former glory.
    So the real choice is between better services and bureaucracy which unfortunately the Politicians cannot deliver all the time that Whitehall has its sticky fingers in the pie.
    The same with most other services which have been centralised and taken out of local control. All have gone downhill since Whitehall took control.
    Let's face facts, Whitehall Mandarins may be brilliant Oxford graduates, as we are so often told, but none of them can be trusted to change a washer. Lets have a Government who decides policies and leaves it to people who know how, to run the public services.

  • Comment number 15.

    I trust the party that brought us NHS Direct, walk-in centres, blood tests at Boots, our new hospital in Coventry, much shorter waiting list for consultation and operations, fantastic success with treating heart conditions, the smoking ban and has brought back matron.

  • Comment number 16.

    If the Tories get in then I would worry (even more) about our NHS.

  • Comment number 17.

    The Conservatives

  • Comment number 18.

    Lets see shall we trust the party who have thrown money at the NHS over the last decade.

    Who have built a culture in the NHS that is entirely focussed on meeting targets and refers to patients as customers.

    Why not vote for the party who has encouraged the NHS to "massage" the figures (for example you might only have to wait 18wk's maximum once you have a referal but you could be waiting for 3 months to get the referal, why? So that they can show in their lying figures that waiting times are under 18 weeks. Maybe you've gone to A&E, you'll see a triage nurse quite quickly of course then wait for hours and hours to see a doctor,why? So they can say all patients seen within 20 minutes of arrival).

    How about you vote for the party who's massive cash injection has paid for countless middle managers.

    I know lets vote for the party who's reckless spending and huge national debt means that we are even having this debate.

    But don't worry if you vote for this party and something does go wrong at least you'll be able to sit at home on incapacity benefit and you won't be classed as unemployed (well for the figures at least).

  • Comment number 19.

    Given that Gorgon Brown would add 1% to national insurance, which would take around £200 million straight out of the NHS budget, and then claims that the tories would cut the budget, I don't certainly don't trust what he says.

    Regardless, some cuts may well be necessary - I certainly don't believe that the NHS is efficient with its money - and I would trust the tories to make better use of money than Labour, who constantly throw money about with no regard to the value it receives.

  • Comment number 20.

    Zero trust in the Conservatives. They tried to kill the NHS under Thatcher and Major, and given that the likes of Michael Gove and Daniel Hannan are around the top of the Conservative pile I have no reason to believe that they intend to do anything different with the NHS now.

    Lib Dems. They seem fine. Not a lot of depth but they have their hearts in the right place.

    Labour. Done well to bring the NHS back off its knees, but haven't done things perfectly. Could do with paying more attention to what NHS staff tell them rather than just trying to impose things from the top regardless of likely consequences. Labour still has its heart in the right place and will definitely stand by the NHS as a free at the point of delivery service.

    So that's a thumbs up to the Lib Dems and Labour and a big thumbs down (with fear of their true intentions) to the Conservatives.

  • Comment number 21.

    If it possible to sell it, then don't trust the tories with it, Question answered.

  • Comment number 22.

    The NHS isn't free. We have to pay for Dental treatment and for prescriptions. Then if you have to visit an hospital you have to pay an obsene fee to park your car, which hospitals justify on the basis that it helps to fund their services.

  • Comment number 23.

    Surely, no one can believe that the full breadth of services currently avaiable will continue to be avaiable after the election - whoever wins. My view is that management will be cut, quangos will be reduced (but sadly not eliminated), hospital ewxpansion plans and the new IT system will be shelved for the time being. It may be necessary to cut down on services that are more social welfare than health, to menas test the maternity exemption etc. Some people may find that they need to pay a small fee for certain services. But whatever happens we should be rightly proud that we have a unique healthcare provider in the NHS which removes from our minds, at a time when we are most vulnerable, any worry about the cost of our treatment.

  • Comment number 24.

    I've had operations on both hands with the minimum of waiting and the best outcome I could have wished for. I've known cataract patients being asked when they'd like to go in for their op. Waiting lists in many areas are down, operations are done in some areas by the private sector on behalf of the NHS. This does not mean the Labour government has got it completely right, as beaurocracy and managers cost too much, and GPs received amazingly high pay awards, but at least we have a service that we take too much for granted. It can be improved by common sense measures (like ensuring patients are fed when they can't feed themselves)and enabling those who want to nurse to do that, rather than have to take more and more academic courses and then be considered 'too skilled' to carry out cleaning of wards and nurturing of patients. I'm not convinced the tories would be any better; proportionately more of them are with private providers so can they understand what it's like for the rest of us? Another argument for consensus politics perhaps?

  • Comment number 25.

    I would on the whole trust them all because they would soon be voted out of office if they mucked about with it too much, though I believe Labour has been pushing at the boundaries of acceptability lately.

  • Comment number 26.

    The NHS, like all public services, is a waste producer. The medical staff are brilliant, but the administration, management & support services within are a joke, full of non-jobs, incompetency and waste. As an example, just look at how much has been wasted on IT systems over the paste 25 years, system which were canned or shelved after costing billion (yes billions).

    The Tories should be able to make huge savings just by cutting the waste, incompetency & corruptions without effecting services one bit.

  • Comment number 27.

    On this issue, we need to avoid the usual argument of who will spend the most. Under Labour, expenditure has increased disproportionate to the outcomes for that spend, mostly because the money was poorly targeted towards increased management (due to a targets culture that drives Chief Executives bonuses and political league tables).

    The key issue is who has the vision to return the NHS to being a front-line focused, efficient operation based around the founding principles of universal access to basic levels of care.

    For me, the Conservatives have the vision and the energy to do this: to return the NHS to its position as an effective and efficient provider for all, rather than the bloated, overweight and overburdened monolith that it has become under Labour.

  • Comment number 28.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 29.

    I support any party that would rid the NHS of managers that have no real job and protect the jobs of the doctors and nurses.
    Also getting rid of the "PC" garbage like interpretors and all them signs that are in every language would save billions,the NHS should be only for British citizens/residents and these should be able to speak English.

  • Comment number 30.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 31.

    Definitely not the Conservatives. From their manifesto I understand they want to drastically reduce public spending. Which makes me wonder what they're going to do with our taxes instead. Free holidays to the Bahamas for all MPs?

  • Comment number 32.

    Openly harming the NHS would be political suicide for any Party therefore I look at the issue from the perspective of which Party do I trust to manage the NHS most effectively. The answer must be the Party who will allow the NHS to govern itself on clinical rather than financial measurements.
    The NHS is not universally free at point of need: if at the point of need no treatment (as opposed to cure) is available. We cannot expect to be cured of every ailment, we all shall die; some sooner than others. When we are ill however we should expect to be given the appropriate treatment relative to our condition, and at that point free of charge. But after treatment there is no good reason why we should not contribute what we can by an weighting to our NI contribution, a bit like losing one's no claim bonus on our car policies.
    The NHS is not free of copurse we all pay for the service and whether we use it or not; in our Income and National Insurance taxes. However treatment is delivered free of charge in most cases (other than dentistry)so those who use the Service ought to pay proportionately more, as far as they may be able, as those who do not. That is fair what is paid through NI is still a factor of what is earned, no earnings no contribution basic or weighted.
    The NHS is not however the panacea for all ills, and certain treatments which are lifestyle in nature rather than life saving or enhancing (and therefore discretionary by definition) should not ever be free at point of delivery. Life saving and life enhancing treatments would still be capatured by weighted NI contributions following on from treatment, based upon ability to pay but as now with a capped maximum.
    Labour has not been an effective Manager of the NHS, imposing targets on anything as volatile as life saving or enhancing treatments is akin to arguing with a brick wall. Wall to wall management by non clinical accountants has been a disaster, trying to instill a competitive market into health care was a joke!
    Therefore neither Labour nor Conservative can argue that the NHS is "safe in their hands": can Lib Dems do better? Lets hope they could do no worse and they have the disposition to allow the NHS to manage its clinical care, what funds are available to the NHS and what treatments are to be free at the point of need is another converstation.

  • Comment number 33.

    Got to agree with inchindown2.
    A friend of mine works in the NHS and tells me of the waste that goes on and the duplicated jobs.
    I have no doubt that the front line staff work hard and are dedicated, but behind them are pencil pushing managers who make no real contribution.

  • Comment number 34.

    Well, I don't trust Labour with the NHS. They have turned it into a bloated bureaucracy that puts targets and other government initiatives ahead of actually looking after patients.

    I also don't trust the Tories with the NHS. Anyone remember the 1980s?

    I don't really trust the LibDems with the NHS either: after all, they are politicians too. However, I shall still vote LibDem, because at least there is a chance that they will look after the NHS, whereas we know for a fact that the other 2 parties won't.

  • Comment number 35.

    3. At 12:57pm on 04 May 2010, inchindown2 wrote:

    "Go into any hospital and you see loads of lazy staff hanging around"

    Generalise much? Christ...

  • Comment number 36.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 37.

    I think Labour has wasted money and that either the Tories or the Liberals could improve the effectiveness of the NHS.

  • Comment number 38.

    3. At 12:57pm on 04 May 2010, inchindown2 wrote:
    "It doesn't matter.

    Brown spent billions on the health service and it is not better than it used to be.

    Most of the money went to money grabbing doctors who no longer see themselves as providing a service."

    I'm not a particularly big fan of labour and nor do I work in the NHS but I can see it has greatly improved over thirteen years. Try actually visiting a hospital instead of following exactly what is says in the Daly Mail (have I guessed your paper correctly?).

    Where did 'money grabbing doctors' come from?


  • Comment number 39.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 40.

    I'm not sure any of them can. What we need is large cuts in the bureaucracy in the NHS. However, no party seems to be promising that.

    We need cuts in the number of 'targets'. We need cuts in the number of reports. All these things need more people working behind the scenes, without any extra benefit.

    I'm pretty sure no doctor/nurse/consultant will deliberately slow treatment down, so detailed reports on targets are meaningless. Just have low volume random sampling by an outside agency to make sure there are no systemic problems.

    The NHS doesn't need more money, it needs wiser spending of the money there is.

    It needs people who are committed to helping patients and saving money, rather than people who are only committed to keeping their own jobs or 'empires'.

  • Comment number 41.

    Personally, it does not bother me if the NHS is kept as a "free" service - I pay my NI every month so am paying for it anyway. I'd rather have the option of stopping my NI payments and paying monthly for private care/insurance.

  • Comment number 42.

    Obviously Labour.

    Under tory rule
    Hospitals falling down.
    Terrible working conditions for doctors and nurses
    Long waiting lists - 3 to 4 years to have an operation

    Under Labour rule.
    Brand new hospitals have been built and are continuing to be built.
    Better working conditions for doctors and nurses. Nurses I have s[poken to say that conditions and pay have improved enormously since 1997.
    Waiting lists down to weeks rather than years.

  • Comment number 43.

    To most of the poster here, which NHS are you using?
    Mine, saved the life of my daughter when she was giving birth by emegency operations. Stuck my wife in intensive care when tests said she was having having a heart attack. Operated on my other daughter within hours of her having been diagonosed of a heart condition. Reconnected the damage nerves in my granddaughter spine (restoring functionality to her right arm); and treated my very well when I got chicken pox at 48 (no laughing matter). All in bright, clean enviroments. In addition they have "cured" prostate cancers in both my father and father in law.
    Do I trust the conservatives, absolutly no - I remember what it was like when they were in power.

  • Comment number 44.

    I would trust none of them particularly but have been pretty impressed with my treatment by the NHS over the past couple of years. Last week I visited my GP still having problems with golfer's elbow. I have suffered for a couple of years now. Within five minutes I had booked an appointment with a specialist for 12 May - yes - May 2010!!

    Hopefully treatment will follow swiftly.

    We may moan about the NHS but they are always there when you really need them. Maybe not so quickly if you merely want them.

  • Comment number 45.

    I don't trust any party with the NHS but do believe it needs an overhaul. When A & E staff at the reception desk at my local hospital have time to fill crosswords and leaf through the latest make-up catalogue, you know it's time to cull those staff.

  • Comment number 46.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 47.



    Its time the NHS profession was internally reviewed..

    We now have a plethora of GPs, consultants and managers who while being officially registered as NHS healthcare providers, actually spend the majority of their time working for the private sector while the public are being treated as a sideline.

    Its no surprise that the waiting lists are so long now for treatment with a GP, far less a consultant, and Labours only answer to the increased public demand has been the introduction of 'walk in centers' and a totally free & gratis healthcare system for the millions of outsiders every year arriving into this country.

    Its time we got back to basics and common sense.



















  • Comment number 48.

    'Which Party do you trust with the NHS'?

    With years of knowledge and life experience - and an NHS worker - would have to say LibDem and Labour.

    As for what might happen after the Election - it would be amazing if those in power left the NHS to get on with their jobs caring for patients - for a least a year - pleeeease?

    Governments and manic turf-protecting managers, come and go, leaving a wake of 'wheel-reinvention' to justify their highly-paid existence - but doctors and nurses; porters and cleaners; volunteers too, take up the slack and clean up the mess.

  • Comment number 49.

    The Conservatives are the only party to guarantee to increase spending in real terms every year of the next parliament and to ringfence that budget. The NHS has suffered under Nu Labour in the past 13 years especially with care for the elderly, which is the most vulnerable sector of society.

  • Comment number 50.

    Conservatives.

    I wouldn't trust Brown to manage a mop and I wouldn't trust Clegg as far as I could throw him, so it has to be Dave.

  • Comment number 51.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 52.

    Whilst we should be looking to change some elements, we shouldn't be reinventing the wheel. The NHS is fairly good, I'm pretty happy with it. The room for improvement (mainly to do with efficiency) doesn't relate to ideology. So why does it matter which party take the reins?

  • Comment number 53.

    The NHS is truly useless, and the question should be, who do we trust with healthcare, not the NHS.

    In fact, I'd say, the safer the NHS, the unsafer the rest of us.

    The NHS is so consistently so useless compared to its European counterparts, the whole mess should be disbanded and replaced.

  • Comment number 54.



    Has any one single political party suggested we now charge all overseas visitors for using our health service?

    No?

    Why not?

    Why is this subject so taboo?

    Other countries do - why not ours?





  • Comment number 55.

    I do not trust any of them with the NHS... because I believe politicians should not be anywhere near it. Since its inception the poor old NHS has been subject to constant interference and micromanagement by people who do not have a clue about what they are doing... and why should they? They are not healthcare professionals.

    I don't expect politicians to be able to run the NHS any more than I expect them to fix my car or paint my house.

    The only role of government is to ensure that the NHS is properly funded out of the money which we provide to enable the government to meet its obligations.

  • Comment number 56.

    Which party do I trust on the NHS ? Short answer....none of them.

    I am quite interested in politics but, my patience is being severely tested during this election campaign. Politicians never were very good at answering questions and now they are going into overdrive, so you have no idea what they are really saying.

    All they are interested in is saying what they think will get them a vote. Very sad. You need to be strong to run the country and I for one would never trust anyone who is going around being negative and instead of saying what they would do for the country, all they are saying it to not to vote for the other parties.

  • Comment number 57.

    I'm not sure who would handle the NHS the best. Whoever gets in, they will have an administrative mess to deal with. My suggestion is to charge everyone between 18 and retirement for prescriptions - even those on benefits. If you're genuinely ill, the cost of a prescription should not seem like a lot to pay for better health. The money generated should then be put back into the NHS.
    I have to pay for all of my prescriptions. I am a chronic asthmatic and need medication in order to stay alive, as do a huge number of others paying for potentially life-saving medication for various conditions. Why? Because we choose to work for a living. This country needs to stop tip-toeing around the lazy, the greedy and the wasters. I think the Conservatives are the only party who have openly said they will reform benefits etc, but not sure even they would go this far to save the NHS some money.

  • Comment number 58.

    <RICHPOST>Even Conservative Backbenchers don’t trust the Conservatives with the NHS.<br><br>Remember this poll of Conservative Backbenchers :<br><br>24 August 2009 source COMRES (appeared in the independent)<BR /><b> David Cameron faces a revolt by his own MPs....</b><br><br><b> Two-thirds of Tory backbenchers oppose his plan to exempt healthcare from any spending cuts.....</b><BR /><b>Asked whether the NHS should receive guaranteed spending increases in real terms during the course of the next Parliament, 29 per cent of Tory MPs agreed and 62 per cent disagreed. Only 33 per cent believed the current NHS model, funded from general taxation and free at the point of delivery, was sustainable for the next 60 years, while 62 per cent did not.</b><BR />The Tories are saying one thing to try and win the election. What they will do, if elected, is something else....<br><br>If they win the election they’ll do exactly the same thing as the last time : underfund the NHS, cut back on services, force people to turn to expensive private alternatives.....<br><br><BR /><b>Only Labour can be trusted with the NHS.</b><br><br><br> <BR /></RICHPOST>

  • Comment number 59.

    Labour I don't trust the Tories with nothing never mind our health service,if they do get into power what's the odds that will try and sell it off to the highest bidder like they did with everything else the last time they were in power.

  • Comment number 60.

    I don't trust any of them with the NHS they all use it fir politiccl means. The NHS should be taken out of political hands.

  • Comment number 61.

    Of course they all claim to be committed to the NHS, it would be political suicide to say anything about one of the few great British institutions. However, isn't loose cannon Tory Daniel Hannan's anti-NHS views closer to the true feeling of his party, who probably mostly go private anyway? Personally the only party I'd trust with the NHS is the one that introduced it, ie Labour.

  • Comment number 62.

    I don't think any of them will run it as well as it should be. There's too much of a cult of part-privatization, under-funding, and decentralization, which all the parties have become fixated with, presumably because they don't want to raise taxes. But if you want decent public services you have to pay for them.

    The Tories started the rot in the NHS and they will ruin it if they get in.

  • Comment number 63.

    Gordon Brown's promise of refering suspected cancer patients to a specialist within two weeks is like most of Labour's policies - a deliberate and cruel manipulation of the facts contrived to mislead voters regarding the true state of the NHS.
    In October '06 I went to my GP with stomach problems and was told my symptoms didn't warrant investigation on the NHS.
    18 months later, and with my weight now down from 11St to 8st, I spent 3 weeks in hospital and was told I had 'pseudo bowel obstruction'. I had to wait three weeks for referal to a specialist bowel hospital. Whilst waiting I found a paper on the first page of Google by an Indian gastrointestinal team which detailed a similar case where the condition was caused by a tumour of the thymus.
    When I was admitted to hospital again, the specialists told me they would repeat the scans I'd had previously. I asked if they'd extend the scan to the chest area which they agreed to do.
    Surprise, surprise, it turned out that I had a thymoma too. They biopsied the tumour and told me it was benign. That was June '08. I was put on a low risk waiting list for an operation in late October / early November '08. Six months! By mid August, I was so ill I probably only had weeks to live. Luckily I had invested in private medical insurance and used this to have the tumour removed. After speaking to the oncologist, it turns out that the 'staging' of the tumour is a key factor in thymomas. Given that it had spread onto the outside of my lungs, the tumour should have been removed immediately. So thanks to complete incompetence by NHS 'specialists', my 20 year survival rate is only 40%.
    I also went onto develop diabetes due to the systemic damage the tumour caused. However, I can't have an insulin pump because NHS incompetence isn't a NICE criteria for one. 85% of diabetics in France are on pumps. That number is around 5% in the UK. Not even close to a 'world class health service'
    The only competent specialists I met during the whole episode were the surgical team that removed the tumour and the neurologist and his team.
    The rest were third rate.
    I agree with David Cameron. Outcomes are by far the most important measure not some empty two week promise from a failed Labour government.

  • Comment number 64.

    Certainly not Cameron and his band of merry men.

  • Comment number 65.

    The NHS has become a free for all literally free for whoever has an illness and lets face it all the immigrants that are flocking to our shores are not endowed with the best of health, we have doctors who want ever more money for less work, we have people coming on holiday solely for free health care and nothing has been done about it in all the years Labour has been in power they throw money at the NHS but where does it go mainly on the above, lets cut red tape lets not treat people who have not paid a penny into the health service and lets ask for money up front from tourists, it makes people who are taxed and pay the vast amount of national insurance the mugs who are paying for any Tom Dick or Harry to benefit.

  • Comment number 66.

    The Tories idea of medicine is if you can pay Ok.

  • Comment number 67.

    I always find it best to go with my own personal experiences on issue such as the NHS, and to be perfectly honest it appears to be working reasonably well (although not perfect) from my point of view.

    Quite recently I found a lump and my GP referred me to a specialist who I saw within a few days at my local hospital. I was surprised at how reasonably quick and efficiently I was seen and thankfully given a clean bill of health. I didn't expect that kind of treatment going on what a read about at times. Also, my grandfather received top class health care from another hospital for his prostate cancer. I visited him regularily, and although he's not keen on hospitals in general (who is), he couldn't praise them enough.

    I'm sure there are other people who haven't received service as good as this, but on balance I believe they're in a minority. Based on this, it doesn't appear Labour have done a bad job over the past 13 years, otherwise my own experiences would have been a lot worse.

    For the record, I think there are other areas Labour haven't done so well on, including public sector expenditure/wastage, but as the question relates just to the NHS that's all I'll comment on...so please don't start the petty 'labour stooge' comments.

  • Comment number 68.

    42. At 2:01pm on 04 May 2010, thelevellers wrote:

    Obviously Labour.

    Under Labour rule.
    Brand new hospitals have been built and are continuing to be built.
    Better working conditions for doctors and nurses. Nurses I have s[poken to say that conditions and pay have improved enormously since 1997.
    Waiting lists down to weeks rather than years."

    All paid for on the never-never.



  • Comment number 69.

    I certainly do not trust the Conservatives. The party who started the totally unnecessary internal market. I worked in the NHS at the time and had to field calls from patients wondering why they had waited longer for their operation than their next door neighbour. The reason being that one practice had money and another did not. What a nightmare. This is part of what led to the proliferation of managers.
    I am not totally sure things have improved, but at least we have a standard letterhead logo now. I remember managers searching offices for headed paper with an outdated logo on - what an expensive shambles.
    The health service has been reorganised so many times, it needs a recovery period.

  • Comment number 70.

    13. At 1:18pm on 04 May 2010, ColPete wrote:

    Well, you'd have thought labour would have sorted it out as they are in hock with the unions and the way in which this monolith has been allowed to work in the dark ages without reform, but alas all Gordon did was throw money at it which all dissapeared down a large hole.

    On Friday I went to my newly, badly designed GP (etc) surgery in SE London (Kent borders) There was over 25 people having to stand as the waiting area seats were all overfull - it wasn't as if there was a special clinic on even. The fittest looking ignoring those standing that were having diffculties in standing!

    English was in the minority of the languages heard spoken, as was any European,(if this is not classed as a bigotted remark). Such is the effect upon our services of Labour's total failure and taking for granted of the hard working people whoes votes thety have so crassly taken for granted

    One of our local hospitals is already having to lay off nursing staff (not managers or pen pushers)

    '''''''''''''''''''''

    Hey, I'm impressed you can recognise Polish from Bulgarian, from Latvian. French and German I could recognise, but Spanish and Italian I wouldn't.
    You'll recall of course that any EU citizen with the EHIC is entitled to use the NHS. Anyone from elsewhere with the right insurance can, too.

    Kind of like you having to visit a hospital in the Czech Republic, whilst on holiday!

  • Comment number 71.

    26. At 1:38pm on 04 May 2010, Toad In The Hole wrote:
    "The NHS, like all public services, is a waste producer. The medical staff are brilliant, but the administration, management & support services within are a joke, full of non-jobs, incompetency and waste."

    Lots of comments such the above most likely quoted from the Daily Mail and other such publications. Please list a few of these supposed 'non-jobs' and state WHAT they do and HOW it does not make any contribution towards the NHS? I'm not saying such jobs don't exist, but I would question exactly how prevalent they actually are. Please try to resist posting made-up jobs just so you have a comeback...practice what you preach and post with honesty.

    If we can get just 10 REAL 'non-jobs' on this messageboard with a reasonable explanation of what they do and how it doesn't help the NHS i'll accept that maybe MAYBE you're right.

  • Comment number 72.

    I think it's time we put socialism back into the NHS, the the party that talks most about what's right for the people at the moment is the libral democrates.

  • Comment number 73.

    I am more worried about the standards of the NHS: there have been too many cases where patients have been wheeled in for the wrong operation or given the wrong medication because someone along the line cannot tell the difference between, say, Latif & Lateef or Smith & Smythe.

  • Comment number 74.


    I had an operation two week ago in a NHS hospital and the treatment and care was 5 Star. I also remember Daniel Hannan the Tory MP the one that went on American TV and told the USA that the NHS was a 60 year mistake.

    Can I trust the Conservatives with the NHS? Absolutely not! You have only got to read HYS blogs to notice how so many Tories slag off the NHS. .

    I worked for years in the USA and I was scared stiff of falling ill. I was born before the HNS was in place and remember the weekly payments to the doctor and the Hospital Saturday fund. Those who run down the NHS do not have a clue, I certainly do not trust the Tories on health.

  • Comment number 75.

    If Cameron is really going to support the NHS why has he had so many talks with the private health care companies and several meetings with Helen Evans of NFR who advocates private health

  • Comment number 76.

    My daughter graduates this year after three years of studying paid for by the NHS. Unfortunately for her and many of her fellow students there are no jobs for them in their chosen discipline. The next swathe of students will be doing the work they are trained to do. They will be graduated for a job that doesn't exist and the skills are not transferrable. Thay are not even allowed to downgrade their qualifications and apply for jobs as assistants to the job they are trained to do. Surely the NHS could save money on not training students for non-existant jobs with the added bonus of not wasting three years of their lives.

    Any party which cuts waste like this is the one I would trust.

  • Comment number 77.

    First of all the NHS isnt free unless you dont pay tax or NI in UK I trust no government much rather have insurance based system so you can make you own provisions get better and quicker treatment and stop Subsidising many other people my medictions are expensive £7.20 per prescription and GPs via Government just want to put you on cheapest generics they can get hold off so again I say its not free its expensive

  • Comment number 78.

    My wife is a Senior Nurse at a major London Teaching Hospital often ranked number 1 in the Country.

    She is old enough to remember the disgraceful state the Tories put the NHS in from taking power in 1979 right through to 1997.

    The NHS dropped from a ranking in the top 20 Health services in the World to around 50th and the Worst Health Service in EUROPE.

    40,000+ Nurses lost their jobs under Majors Government and starting rates for Nurses dropped to lower than that for street cleaners.

    These are FACTS not opinions.

    Like it or not in the 13 Years since Labour has been in Power the NHS has improved massively.

    We now have a health service which ranks in the Top 15 in the World and is above average in Europe,for less than half the cost per head of the US Health system which ranks 30 places lower.

    Nurses have seen their pay rise significantly in real terms and the starting rate for a staff nurse is now on a par with a Teacher, 40,000 extra Nurses and 10,000 new Doctors have been employed.

    These to are FACTS not opinions.

    Don't throw it all away the Tories are not to be trusted on Health never have been and never will be.

  • Comment number 79.

    A party that invests objectively. Throwing money at the NHS has not worked! You have to have a plan for that money which doesn't involve creating non-jobs, hiring interpreters and addijng a useless tier of middle management.

  • Comment number 80.

    To all Labour voters - the reason why the Conservatives have said that they will need to make drastic cuts to public services is because this government, like all previous Labour governments has bankrupted the country. Please don't tell me it was the bankers. The FSA was meant to regulate them but because it is an inept organization, was completely incapable of doing so.
    There are now 1.4 million people working in the NHS. It is the third largest employer on the planet. Why is it that the NHS is ranked 17th out of 34 foreign health services with poor outcomes for cancer survival? 2% of all operations are to correct earlier botched operations / investigative procedures. 25,000 people die from completely preventable blood clots following NHS operations.
    Then there's Mid Staffs Health Trust which was ranked as 'elite status' which was busy killing patients.
    If you have never used the NHS for anything other than a simple procedure then your opinion on the true state of the NHS is irelevant.

  • Comment number 81.

    15. At 1:22pm on 04 May 2010, wind-blown wrote:

    I trust the party that brought us NHS Direct, walk-in centres, blood tests at Boots, our new hospital in Coventry, much shorter waiting list for consultation and operations, fantastic success with treating heart conditions, the smoking ban and has brought back matron.


    That gets my vote as well.

    Labour created the NHS, Thatcher and Major tried VERY hard to destroy it. Nurses were leaving the profession in huge numbers, because of low investment.

    It has now been resurrected since 1997, by LABOUR. New hospitals; more staff; nurses paid a decent wages; waiting times reduced..... not perfect, but something to be proud of.

  • Comment number 82.

    The NHS is truly useless, and the question should be, who do we trust with healthcare, not the NHS.

    In fact, I'd say, the safer the NHS, the unsafer the rest of us.

    The NHS is so consistently so useless compared to its European counterparts, the whole mess should be disbanded and replaced.



    -----
    The NHS currently ranks above average in Europe and 30 places higher in the WHO comparisons than the US health system at a per capita cost of below the European Average and less than half of the US system.

    So on what precisely, other than on blinkered partisan ignorance, do you base the assumption that we would be better off without it?

  • Comment number 83.

    Ultra-short term it's Labour, longer term it's the Tories. For an example of why, see Greece.

  • Comment number 84.

    I would love to vote for Labour in my area, the work they have put in to the NHS and Child Tax Credits has been truly brilliant for this country but unfortunately there isn't a candidate in sight. To be fair that goes for all parties in this area, none of them seem to be approaching me to win over there views. So I'm going to have to vote for the Liberals (tactical voting I believe) just cant have Mr (3 jobs) Soames any more.

  • Comment number 85.

    The Lib Dems can't be trusted with a discarded tissue – they'd try and replace it with a like-for-like replacement and claim to make savings in the process. The Labour party even less, with their culture of management.

  • Comment number 86.

    We have had wonderful life saving treatment from the NHS, a grandchild had world class treatment on his feet at birth and is now a brilliant gymnast. We could never have afforded the treatment. In the US families run up huge debts in order to get family members treated. I know personally how the insurance companies over there do all they can to avoid payment. We don't know how lucky we are, no one wants a legal battle when they are seriously ill. Even in many European countries there is a charge to visit the doctor which often puts people off going quickly, in a few cases it is most important and in the long run early diagnosis is money saving
    A friend of mine went to hospital a fortnight ago for tests for suspected cancer he had the full results four days later. No one could get better than that

  • Comment number 87.

    The fact is, which ever party wins the election the NHS is facing reductions in costs and service. Anyone who says differently is not living in the real world. People bang on about managers and bureaucrats instead of doctors and nurses, but the stark truth is that if you removed them all, you would only save about 4% of NHS manpower.
    Brown and Clegg's vague promises that the NHS is safe in their hands just aren't worth a light. Brown relies on past performance as a guarantee for the future, when the reality is that his position is financially unsustainable. Clegg's position is vague to the point of being little more than vapid rhetoric. Cameron's pledge to ringfence spending on the NHS will only be effective at the expense of other services in other parts of government and only if it is followed up with a major efficiency drive to cut waste and reduce unnecessary overheads. It probably still won't be enough, because we all expect more and better treatments and by definition these are increasingly sophisticated and more expensive.
    If we want to maintain a world class NHS free at the point of contact, we are going to have to pay for it through serious increases in taxation.

  • Comment number 88.

    "Buck_Turgidson wrote:
    I wouldn't trust the Conservatives to manage our hospital car park, never mind the whole of the NHS....
    13 years of Labour government have left us with £billions of PFI debt, more administrators and managers than medical staff ....
    Personally, I wouldn't trust either of them to run the NHS, or anything else really."

    So who would you trust with the NHS then?

  • Comment number 89.

    The more I hear from David Cameron, the more I dislike him. All his speeches indicate to me that he's better suited as a motivational speaker rather than the 'right man' to get UK sorted.

  • Comment number 90.

    1. At 12:54pm on 04 May 2010, BaldLea wrote:

    Daniel Hannan is my local Tory MEP.

    "You remember him...the one that went on American TV and told the USA that the NHS was a 60 year mistake."

    I think he meant the Welfare State. Now this is a 60-year mistake. It has subsidised the work ethic out of several generations in too many families.

  • Comment number 91.

    WHAT STUPID CHILDISH COMMENTS53. At 2:19pm on 04 May 2010, Apple-Eater wrote:
    The NHS is truly useless, and the question should be, who do we trust with healthcare, not the NHS.

    In fact, I'd say, the safer the NHS, the unsafer the rest of us.

    The NHS is so consistently so useless compared to its European counterparts, the whole mess should be disbanded and replaced.

    APPLE EATER SEEMS TO HAVE BITTEN ON A WORM HE CANNOT DIGEST. Lets have a sensible debate but NOT such disgusting untrue statements.
    I presume you are a very deep TRUE BLUE

  • Comment number 92.

    71. At 2:55pm on 04 May 2010, Nic121 wrote:

    26. At 1:38pm on 04 May 2010, Toad In The Hole wrote:
    "The NHS, like all public services, is a waste producer. The medical staff are brilliant, but the administration, management & support services within are a joke, full of non-jobs, incompetency and waste."

    Lots of comments such the above most likely quoted from the Daily Mail and other such publications. Please list a few of these supposed 'non-jobs' and state WHAT they do and HOW it does not make any contribution towards the NHS? I'm not saying such jobs don't exist, but I would question exactly how prevalent they actually are. Please try to resist posting made-up jobs just so you have a comeback...practice what you preach and post with honesty.

    If we can get just 10 REAL 'non-jobs' on this messageboard with a reasonable explanation of what they do and how it doesn't help the NHS i'll accept that maybe MAYBE you're right.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Great post

  • Comment number 93.

    Labour loves to boast about how much money they have put into the NHS.
    Now we're told they can save billions in the NHS from efficiences and cutting waste.

    What an incompetent waste of money that was.


    It's the easiest thing in the world to spend money, but can it be spend wisely and efficiently? Not by this government.

  • Comment number 94.

    This remains an area where Labour lead, but only because the alternatives are worse.

    Emotion says that the managers and administrators must go, but how will nurses and doctors find the time to do their own administration and monitoring without reducing front line service? Our nurses and doctors need more support not less. This is one area where LibDem popularism has exceeded sense.

    Humour says - I can't wait to have my surgery at the hands of a volunteer or a workfare conscript. The Tories have never had the first idea when it comes to the NHS, and still don't.

  • Comment number 95.

    A return to the scheme introduced by the cConservatives and since dismantled by Labour would be good, Doctors and Hospitals had real control over spending and the nations health was protected by Doctors and Nurses who actually cared.
    My GP's success seems to be measured by the super quality cars that they all enjoy cruising around in.

  • Comment number 96.

    80. At 3:05pm on 04 May 2010, Steve wrote:

    To all Labour voters - the reason why the Conservatives have said that they will need to make drastic cuts to public services is because this government, like all previous Labour governments has bankrupted the country. Please don't tell me it was the bankers. The FSA was meant to regulate them but because it is an inept organization, was completely incapable of doing so.
    There are now 1.4 million people working in the NHS. It is the third largest employer on the planet. Why is it that the NHS is ranked 17th out of 34 foreign health services with poor outcomes for cancer survival? 2% of all operations are to correct earlier botched operations / investigative procedures. 25,000 people die from completely preventable blood clots following NHS operations.
    Then there's Mid Staffs Health Trust which was ranked as 'elite status' which was busy killing patients.
    If you have never used the NHS for anything other than a simple procedure then your opinion on the true state of the NHS is irelevant.
    _________________________________________________________________________
    Tory by any chance? And if the Tories where doing so well, then why did they get slung out with a landslide majority.

  • Comment number 97.

    I find the prospect of a Tory win quite frightening when I read the comments of the right wing brigade on HYS.

    The incredible advances in improving Hospitals and surgeries, we now have very short waiting lists compared to pre 1997. When I hear and read MANY TORY views on the NHS I wonder if they are still living in the era of Florence Nightingale with Saws and hammers as surgical instruments.


    Wake up and GET REAL

    I do know the NHS will NEVER br safe in the hands of the TORIES

  • Comment number 98.

    Well the Tories are anti NHS anti BBC and anti just about anything that involves the state providing a service for people.

    Under labour I have had first hand experience with procurement(fire service) and if the policy is the same for all areas (why wouldn't it be) then all it has achieved is increasing costs to the end user(fire service) by 10% and added a layer of bureaucracy between us and the customer. I assume a similar thing is true for the NHS as our products are used by other government groups and there systems are similar.

    no idea about the Lib dems as they haven't had power in so long there is nothing to judge. still an unknown is better than a bad record


  • Comment number 99.

    If ALL Conservatives truly believe that they WILL continue to support the NHS, then why DID they leave it to a Labour Government to bring in this Service in the First - Place, in 1948?

    In truth, it is in NO Conservatives interest to Pay for the NHS, since they can still today well afford to Pay Privately for Treatment.

    Also ALL past Conservative Governments reduced expenditure on the NHS Bubgets in Real - Term during their time in Office, and as for David Cameron, well - he is already Pledging that Welfare WILL in any next Government led by him, will be left to Charities to run for those of the Working - Classes to access, which will result in a Two-Tier UK Health System, being one for those that can afford exspensive Health Insurance, and the rest of the largest section of the UK that cannot.

    To Conserve, means - to look after yourself and Class, First.

    So therefore, ANY Votes for Cameron will mean the majority currently using the NHS today will suffer.

  • Comment number 100.

    The first question is do we need an NHS. Would we get the same service cheaper privately. The obvious answer is yes we can.In fact, we could get a better service for less. There has been huge wastage in the NHS. Billions on a computer system that doesnt work, Billions for staff duplicating other people's work, Hundreds of millions on people to manage every new target. I can tell you that the Hospitals in the Netherlands are far superior to the UK - this is actually shown in your life expectancy. In the Netherlands life expectancy is greater than the UK (and far more of us smoke).
    This is the way it works here- everyone has health insurance which is subsidised based on your income. Everyone gets treated and foreigners are made to pay after treatment. It's not rocket science and you can pretty much choose where you want to get treated.
    Why this system does not exist in the UK is simple - the NHS - and because the people who use it most and pay for it least have voted Labour

 

Page 1 of 4

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.