Do these people really represent nurses?
Nurses for Reform claims it is a;
growing pan-European network of nurses dedicated to consumer-led reform of British, European and other healthcare systems around the world.
This is a bold claim indeed; surely the National Health Service must be in trouble if nurses are turning against it? However, a look at the advisory board is less than inspiring when it comes to NFR’s claim that it represents ordinary healthcare professionals. First-up is Stewart Browning; no details on his biography on NFR, however, ‘Free Market Cure’; the linked-too site is more forthcoming;
Stuart Browning is a film director, entrepreneur and health care policy commentator.
So, not really a nurse really at all then. Next-up Dr Eammonn Butler who we are told is a director of the Adam Smith Institute. How do his nursing credentials shape-up? Not very well sadly, again we have an American connection as we are told by his website;
Having graduated from the University of St Andrews in the 1970s, Dr Butler worked on pensions and welfare issues for the US House of Representatives in Washington DC. Returning to the UK, he served as editor of The British Insurance Broker monthly before devoting himself full-time to the Adam Smith Institute, which he helped found.
Dr Tim Evans decides to link to the Libertarian Alliance from his profile, an organisation which campaigns against the regulation of the sale of firearms and talks about ‘The Englishmans right to own and carry firearms’. One wonders how many gunshot wounds Mr Evans has had to deal with; probably not many as he is in fact a sociologist not a nurse or a medical doctor. He runs the Libertarian Alliance and, like his fellow libertarian (different think tank though) Shane Frith, Evans main preoccupation is the Conservative Party. He wrote a book on the ‘Sociology of the Conservative Party’ in which he tried to demonstrate;
the march of Libertarianism through the Tory Party by use of surveys, questioning people on their views about class, religion, lifestyle freedoms, the monarchy, privatisation, the role of the state, private currencies, and other benchmark tests of where someone stands from a libertarian point of view.
Shane Frith is also not a nurse or anything like it although he is also part of the ‘Doctors Alliance’;
Shane has worked for a number of London based think tanks, including Reform, Open Europe and the Centre for Policy Studies, since moving from his native New Zealand. He is also the founder and Director of Doctors’ Alliance, a pan-European network of medical professionals seeking better ways to deliver healthcare.
His ‘Progressive Vision’ group has just launched it’s ‘Progressive Conservatives’ group. No doubt Mr Frith is a keen member; a blog on Telegraph Blogs tells us he is a card-carrying Conservative. One assumes he remains so.
Dr RobertLeFever is a keen blogger too; amazingly he is involved in healthcare in someway. His speciality is addiction recovery. Maybe he is good but I am a little skeptical that he is the ‘Darwin of our times’ as his website claims he is; however, at least he can legitimately be said to be involved in healthcare.
As can Robert McIndoe from what can be found. However, Ruth Lea cannot make the same claims. She is of course an economist and her profile links to a group campaigning for;
a refreshing, forward and outward looking alternative to the existing polarised choices of going along with the full European project or pulling out and breaking all ties with our European neighbours.
Mr John Wilden is also a businessman although he does have a background in health. Interestingly, we are told that this connects him to Dr Evans as Dr Evans is Chairman of Global Health Futures which is;
the brain child of John Wilden, a former specialist and consultant neurosurgeon. GHF is developing and promoting software products for “Time to Cure” and “Cost to Cure” Common Diseases based on the advances of molecular biology and other technologies which will underpin the fast looming world of curative global healthcare, thereby ushering in a new age of diminishing healthcare costs across the developed and developing world”.
Dr Tim Evans, Chairman of Global Health Futures
So, no vested interest in breaking-up the NHS there then? As we can see the dominant interests that seek to undermine the NHS are clear; they are not those of public servants but of ideologists opposed to it or business figures who would profit from it. David Cameron recently met ‘Nurses for Reform’; given the above would you really trust the NHS in his or its hands?