HEALTH EXPERTS have slammed Labour's new scheme for the NHS. The government has given star awards to hospitals. Health secretary Alan Milburn bragged about the 'dog eat dog' ethic he wants to enforce on the health service through such schemes:
'In most walks of life-and this has to apply to the NHS too-there is a simple principle, which is the better you do the more you get.' He has hinted at considering hospitals' performance when making pay awards. But health service workers point out that most of the complaints are not about treatment or waiting lists-they are about privatised cleaning services.
Those performing well get three stars, while those performing poorly get no extra cash and the threat of being taken over by privatisers within three months. This demoralises staff and forces them to be obsessed with meeting targets at the expense of patient care.