Campaigners warn Brown and Darzi reforms "incompatible"
Campaigners have warned that the future of the NHS could be threatened by "muddled thinking" in the central government.
The "Keep Our NHS Public" campaign has identified key contradictions between Lord Darzi's interim report on the NHS and Gordon Brown's recent commitment to continue market reforms begun by Tony Blair.
The campaigners welcome Darzi's proposals that depend on an integrated healthcare system but stress that this cannot be reconciled with Brown's vision of an economic structure that sets healthcare organisations in competition with one another.
Chair of Keep Our NHS Public Wendy Savage said: "We are left in the absurd situation of having a health minister producing a major report on how to improve care through better cooperation between NHS bodies, at the same time as the government is forging ahead with outdated reforms to introduce more competition."
The campaigners add that Darzi has given no consideration to the destabilising effects of payment by results and the use of private finance initiatives.
Wendy Savage concludes: "The positive elements in Darzi may be used as a smokescreen to divert attention from unpopular policies which threaten to undermine local access and deepen the role of the private sector.
"This is highly dangerous for our health service."