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BBC offers lessons for NHS


14 March, 2008  

The former Controller of Public Policy at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has said that the organization may offer a model for an independent National Health Service (NHS).

David Levy lays out his proposals in the “An independent NHS:
what’s in it for patients and citizens?” published by the Picker Institute.

The document supports the case for distancing the NHS from government, but says that a major reorganisation should only take place if it promises to offer benefits to patients.

“While NHS structures have been radically reformed in recent years,” Levy Writes, “amid constant political debate and frequent intervention in almost every aspect of the service, it is hard for patients and citizens to know just where the buck stops.”

The paper looks at whether the BBC’s 2007 Charter might offer a model for the NHS.  The manifesto for the period from 2007 was published in 2004 and entitled ‘Building Public Value’.

Levy suggests that structuring an independent NHS like the BBC would make it clearer who is in charge of the service, what resources are available to the service, where these resources came from and how they are used.  

“We’re certainly not saying ‘turn the NHS into an exact replica of the BBC’,” says Picker Institute chief executive Angela Coulter. “We’re saying the NHS can learn from looking at other sectors and grabbing good ideas wherever it finds them.”

Picker Institute