Tuesday, 19 May 2009

A good time to bury Tory U-turns

With the news dominated by moats and house-flipping, not to mention David Cameron's selfless spin on the subject, the Tories have been quietly performing a big policy U-turn. Regular readers of this blog will know my views about BMA spokesman Andrew Lansley, who has an occasional sideline as Cameron's health secretary in waiting. While Labour - with Alan Johnson - has been pursuing a resolutely patient-focused health agenda, Lansley has shown as much disdain for patients as the haughtiest consultant.

So, it is a pleasant surprise to see the Tories finally admitting that they got it wrong over polyclinics, Labour's plans to improve patient services by locating a range of GPs and specialists under one roof. Needless to say it has been left to an underling, Mark Simmonds, to admit that when Lansley and his protector Cameron claimed a year ago that one in five surgeries would close as a result of the new centres opening, they were talking utter rubbish.

Perhaps the perceptive Mr Simmonds could turn his attention to his bosses' belief that patients' interests would be well served by scrapping maximum waiting times and bringing back eighties-style waiting lists?

This post has been picked up by John Rentoul and Liberal Conspiracy.

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