The prime Minister, on Monday:
I want to see the public sector become truly enabling, not controlling, breaking up monopoly provision, extending choice and voice, eliminating old barriers that restrict the creativity of the frontline.
The advertisement asked firms to show how they could benefit patients if they took over responsibility for buying healthcare from NHS hospitals, private clinics and charities. The plan would give private firms responsibility for deciding which treatments and services would be made available to patients - and whether NHS or private hospitals would provide them.
Under the present system, this commissioning work is handled by local NHS managers employed by primary care trusts. Under the new system, the PCTs would contract out the commissioning to big healthcare management consortiums with greater purchasing muscle…
…Lord Warner said: "The government has no plans to privatise the NHS." He added that the contract advertised in the official journal would give PCTs access to expert help to improve commissioning of services, without going through expensive and time-consuming local tenders.
So on Monday it’s “extending choice and voice”, and by the end of the week we discover that local purchase of health care is too "expensive and time consuming". Instead we're going to have bulk buying of hospital care to reduce costs, a measure that was going to be sneaked through until the government were found out.