The modern NHS is all about choice, so we are told. Let me give you an anonymised real example of How NHS Choice REALLY Works: a child has an undiagnosed problem, it takes 3 trips to the childs GP before the child is offered a referral to a specialist hospital clinic.
1. A letter is sent out explaining the ‘choices’: You can book your appointment online, or by phone!
2. When booking (via your choice of method) you are offered the choice of hospital X or …er, thats it.
3. You are offered the choice of date X at time Y or …. er, thats it.
So the choice is “Like it or lump it“. Which doesn’t quite fit with the guidelines of:
From April 2008, if your GP advises you that you need to see a specialist, you can choose to go to any hospital in England, including many private and independent sector hospitals. You can choose the hospital with the best reputation or shortest waiting times, or simply the one that is most convenient for you.
The NHS repeatedly says patient choice is guided by the availability of information (see links above).
But when you, the patient or carer, appraise the available information and still make The Wrong Choice, the Department of Health springs into action. Here we see BBQ fearmongering on behalf of HMG:
A study which raised the possibility that MMR was linked to autism has since been dismissed by the vast majority of research, but levels of public confidence in the jab have still not fully recovered.
Experts say MMR is completely safe
The government has launched a campaign to raise MMR vaccination rates in England amid growing concerns about a measles epidemic.
The Department of Health has asked primary care trusts (PCTs) to offer the jab to all children up to the age of 18 not already fully protected.
Extra vaccine supplies and funding are being made available.
An epidemic of measles – which can be fatal – could potentially affect up to 100,000 young people in England alone.
The MMR vaccine protects against measles, mumps and rubella.
The evidence on MMR is absolutely clear – there is no link between the vaccine and autism
Experts say it is perfectly safe, but vaccination rates dipped following controversy about its safety.
This propaganda campaign follows similar localised efforts, similarly reported as ‘news’ by BBQ.
The aim of the Department of Health here is to increase uptake of vaccination. Would it not be simple, instead of trying to scare people into giving MMR to their children, to offer single vaccinations against each disease. To offer, perhaps, a choice.
Instead NeuLiebour are offering the choice (devised by the MP in charge of the party’s health manifesto for the next election) of ‘vaccinate or be excluded from school‘.
Whether its about forced vaccination, ID cards, security theatre, data protection… soon the choice will be yours.