Today’s report from the London School of Economics into whether competition works in the NHS is likely to be cherry-picked (to use an apt term) by both sides in their fights for and against the health bill.
Ministers will love its headline finding, that competition works in the NHS. The researchers found that after Labour introduced competition between hospitals in 2006, waiting times before operations (an internationally recognised measure of transparency) fell. Using the kind of terminology only academics can, the report’s authors found “moderate but statistically significant” reductions in patients’ length of stay. They added:
These 7 to 9 per cent gains would have produced non-trivial savings.