Exposed: Lansley’s NHS reform cheerleaders

Tamasin Cave of Spinwatch exposes the anti-NHS, linked-to-private-health-companies individuals who've taken to the airwaves today to defend the government's NHS reforms.

By Tamasin Cave of Spinwatch

Just as yesterday the British Medical Society urged Andrew Lansley to scrap ‘top-down reforms’ of the NHS, today we see the government’s champions hit the airwaves. Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine show this lunchtime featured two such champions, one introduced as a GP, the other a ‘health expert’.

The former, Dr Paul Charlson, is indeed a GP in favour of Lansley’s reforms. He also runs a private centre which specialises in cosmetic anti-aging treatments (Botox), not typical of most GPs. Charlson is also spokesperson for a lobby group called Doctors for Reform, which is supported by the free-market think tank, Reform. Funding for Reform has come from the UK’s largest private hospital group – General Healthcare Group – and other private health companies set to benefit from Lansley’s reforms.

Vine’s ‘health expert’ was Dr Helen Evans, director of Nurses for Reform. Its funding is more opaque, but it does have ties to many free-market think tanks that favour privatisation. These include the Adam Smith Institute and the Centre for Policy Studies, a think tank that promotes “the opening up [of] state monopolies” in health.

Evans has labelled the NHS a:

“Stalinist, nationalised abhorrence.”

And written:

“Britain can do musch [sic] better without its so called ‘principals’ [sic].”

As the criticism of the NHS reforms gets louder, expect to hear more from these two.

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