Daily Archives: April 15, 2013

NHS protests

By Sarah Neville

Comments to the FT from one of the most important figures in the NHS this morning ask the most fundamental question that can be asked about the NHS: in an era of austerity can a universal free health service survive?

Malcolm Grant, chairman of NHS England, told us that he thinks a future government will have to consider more widespread user charges in the health service unless the economy picks up.

Grant made clear that he would not support any departure from the defining principle of a free-at-the-point-of-use NHS. But that doesn’t matter – these are macro-economic decisions for government that fall beyond his remit. Read more

Kiran Stacey

House of LordsTory backbenchers probably thought that when they ganged together to thwart attempts to make the Lords mostly elected last year, they had got rid of what they saw as a “constitutional threat” for the foreseeable future.

But conversations I have had in recent days with senior Liberal Democrats suggest there is a scenario under which the plans could be resurrected.

Officials close to Nick Clegg have told me that if there was a hung parliament at the next election and a deal with the Conservatives was the most likely outcome, this would give them an opening to insist that the plans were put back on the table. Read more