Monday, 30 July 2007

Of mice and Milburn

2nd wave diagnostics was a scheme originally promoted by former Health Secretary Alan Milburn as a way of transferring diagnostics from the NHS to the private sector where it could be done more "efficiently" by lower skilled and lower paid folk from Eastern Europe. He was a paid advisor to Alliance Medical, a company that expected to benefit from such work.
Alan Milburn was one of the more disliked of our recent Health Secretaries, especially by Gordon Brown who feared him as a prospective "Stop Gordon" candidate, so it is with great pleasure that I report that the whole 2nd wave diagnostics scheme is beginning to look sickly.
There have been a number of signs that things were not going to plan. BUPA pulled out of the contract on the South Coast and were replaced by a building company called Carillion, causing the start date to be delayed. The Group who won the London contract initially wanted to recruit UK radiologists at Eastern European rates of pay but they have found few takers. Now Atos Origin, a French company who had won the contract to provide diagnostics in two regions, has been sacked. They were due to start the service last April. Atos also has the contract to provide Choose and Book - the other useless and unwanted scheme burdening the NHS.
It all looks like its quietly going to go the way of Milburn and disappear into the dustbin of failed Nulabour hopes. Good riddance.


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