This is a little weird

For a party that has promised a \”bonfire of the quangos\”, turning Britain\’s best-loved institution into the biggest quango in the world – responsible for a £100bn budget and 1.4 million staff – is an idea that has had dangerously little scrutiny to date.

I was under the impression that El Gordo had already slipped the management of the NHS off to quangos?

And this is not just weird it\’s insane:

The second dividing line is on NHS pay. Andrew Lansley drops heavy hints that the Tories would reintroduce local pay bargaining. mistake. National pay structures bring a stability to the system in terms of recruitment and retention.

Living costs vary wildly across the country. £30 k a year (experienced nurse/nurse manager sort of level of money Band 7) is a decent middle class income in Newcastle and bleedin\’ awful in leafy Surrey. So we end up with a shortage of nurses in those more expensive parts of the country because it\’s not possible to recruit or retain sufficient at those rates of pay.

As living cost vary wildly so do regional rates of pay. And having centrally imposed rates means that people die as a result. Yes, centralisation kills.

Burnham is actually proposing as one of the core elements of Labour\’s stance on the NHS one of the few things about the system which is absolutely indefensible.

To put it at its simplest, so that even a Labour politician can understand it. We don\’t have a national market for labour and we don\’t have a national market for skilled health care labour. Thus having a single national price for such skilled health care labour is stupid, just stupid, stupid, stupid.

You\’ve already given up that argument by having the London weighting (and outer London and fringe areas), you already acknowledge this simple truth. Because we have regional variations in pay so should we have such in NHS pay.

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