Labour’s Andy Burham has announced a series of policies on health to be included the party’s 2015 manifesto, despite the fact they have already been in force for 18 months.
The Shadow Health Secretary brazenly jumped onto the bandwagon of Mumsnet’s latest campaign to improve aftercare for women who miscarry. I have no doubts over the sincerity of the campaign, but I do question that of Mr Burnham.
In a video posted on Youtube, Burnham backs Mumsnet’s five point plan for the NHS to improve its services, but he is probably the one person who should have known better than to pledge to make this part of his 2015 manifesto.
I say he should because it was Labour that brought in NICE: the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.
Back in 2012, NICE revised its guidelines and every one of the plan’s suggestions has already been accepted and recommended by NICE, except formally cancelling requested scans after confirmation of miscarriage, which is really an issue of local NHS protocol.
Therefore, Andy Burnham is pledging to put a government quango’s 18-month-old guidelines into his party’s manifesto.
There was nothing to stop him simply pointing out this is already DoH guidance and the best way to implement these changes is to pledge not to re(dis)organise the NHS after the election, which, by promising to repeal the Health and Social Care Act 2012, he is committed to.
Whether misguided enthusiasm or brass naked conceit, Burnham has shown himself to be off the ball on basic NHS policy.