Thursday, June 10, 2010

King’s Fund: Two Doctors & Shakespeare

There is so much we can learn from Shakespeare and the advice is free:

Winter’s Tale, Tristram Kenton Guardian
Hermione: "You pay a great deal too dear for what's given freely". -

(Act I, Scene I). The Winter’s Tale.

Sometimes from blog posts too!

The Shrink in his little corner by Lake Cocytus was in his thinking mode:

“……why am I uneasy about the Kings Fund?

Policy with implemented effective practice, independently generated by experts, what's not to like? I met with and spoke with folk from the Kings Fund, their passion and motivation was self evident. Their message and the change they're effecting was crystal clear. Inspired independent change being joyfully and enthusiastically progressed, what's not to like?

Well, it's just that more than a small part of me feels intense disquiet that it's not really that independent. In fact, isn't it all well represented either directly by Department of Health workforce (directly or indirectly through Select Committee or quango appointment), or private health company presidents, or Monitor, or other interest groups. So not independent at all. Indeed, they're placed to advance either government policy or the interests of private healthcare companies, yet overtly state they're independent. Grrrr.

He admitted he was not the first to spot it.

Dr Clive Peedell 
2 December 2009 in Hospital Dr.:

1. Simon Stevens - president of Global Health at UnitedHealth Group. He was previously the Prime Minister’s health advisor.
2. Dr Penny Dash - adviser to a wide range of organisations including the NHS, independent health care providers, pharmaceutical companies and private equity groups. She’s a former DoH head of strategy and planning, who worked closely with Alan Milburn, in the development of the NHS Plan. She is a partner at management consultants McKinsey.
3. Strone Macpherson - chairman of Tribal consulting. The Tribal group has been appointed to the DoH’s framework for procuring external support for commissioners, i.e. PCTs pay Tribal to help with their commissioning functions. Tribal also provides ‘technical experts’ in all aspects of funding, from PFI, LIFT and public procurement to social enterprises and boast the largest health architectural practice in Europe.  
4. Jude Goffe - a founding non-executive director at Monitor, the regulator of NHS foundation trusts.
5. Professor Julian Le Grand - former health advisor to Tony Blair and the leading academic proponent of the choice agenda.
6. David Wootton - lawyer and partner at Allen & Overy in London, an international law firm specialising in mergers and acquisitions, corporate transactions and corporate governance.
7. Dame Jacqueline Docherty - a former member of the management executive at the Department of Health, the Scottish Office, she’s now the chief exec at West Middlesex Hospital.
8. Cyril Chantler is chairman of the King’s Fund. He is an adviser to the Associate Parliamentary Health Group. This group enables parliamentarians, policy makers, healthcare professionals and the health industry to promote and discuss the national health agenda.

In view of the above membership of this board, it must be hard for the think-tank to be as objectively independent on government health policy as it claims to be. This is only reinforced by the appointment of Professor Chris Ham, another former DoH advisor as its new CEO. 

Dr Clive Peedell concludes:

It’s time to recognise that the King’s Fund has a significant proportion of former DoH advisors, and people with commercial interests that could benefit from pro-market NHS reforms, helping to guide its work.


Anonymous said...

There are a surprising number of very sinister organisations like the King’s Fund. In general they are charities subsidised by taxpayers like us. The most objectionable thing about them is that they are not quite what they seem. They portray themselves as being open-minded but they have an agenda. In reality they are lobby groups supported by businesses interested only in the massive financial gains that will result from the policies these organisations peddle.

The best way of finding out what their real aims are, as you have learned, is to look at the interests of those in charge and those who support them.

Some of these organisations, Common Purpose would be an example, are so cryptic that it is very difficult to be sure whether or not we should be worried about them. That, in itself, is worrying.

Anonymous said...

You are right. Charity indeed. The sooner we tax these organisation the better.

And do not forget NHS is big money. Govt. money always is.
Anon A