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?


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About darrellgoodliffe


21 responses to “Do these people really represent nurses?”

  1. Thomas Byrne says :

    What of Helen Evans? Their membership? Or for that matter their ideas? Personally, I’m happy to see him consulting a variety of opinions, it’s vital that the next PM has a cogent plan for the NHS, considering that reform is starting to stop now due to electoral concerns.


  2. splinteredsunrise says :

    Ruth Lea? Jesus wept.

    Of course, even were these guys actual nurses, it wouldn’t prove much. In any given field, you can find one or two contrarians who’ll argue anything, and are happy to provide quotes to satisfy ideological agendas. See also, climate change.


  3. darrellgoodliffe says :


    John Bercow’s wife is a member of the Labour Party; that barely makes him qualified to be its leader. Heaven knows what their membership is like; id imagine its of a similar breed to its leadership. I personally dont know why the Conservatives expend the effort; they dont need too since half of them are members already.

    If you mean by a cogent plan asset stripping to the highest bidder then you may well get your wish.


  4. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Indeed lol….

    Very true but the fact they are not speaks volumns.


  5. Thomas Byrne says :

    That’s one claim and a half I have to say…


  6. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Its the essence of what their proposals will constitute; kind-of ironic given that America is moving away from the privitised mess that is its healthcare system.


  7. Thomas Byrne says :

    Well no, America has private insurance, but that isn’t the reason it has such poor coverage. There’s plenty of problems with healthcare in the US, a lack of government intervention isnt one of them.


  8. darrellgoodliffe says :


    So you admit it shows the failings of the private sector then? You admit it has such poor coverage is due to it being private insurance; one sentance doesnt logically follow from the last. 🙂


  9. Thomas Byrne says :

    You know those European countries that have private insurance? Try again.


  10. darrellgoodliffe says :


    What then is the reason America has such poor coverage? Enlighten me.


  11. Thomas Byrne says :

    You can attribute a large part of it to the ridiculously foolish incentives provided by, guess who, the US government, which encourage employer-based health-care rather than individually purchased health-care.

    I understand that you want to say that the US healthcare system is rubbish because of the evil free market, but the simple fact of the evidence is that the market for healthcare in the US is distorted by even more government spending than happens here in our socialized system.


  12. darrellgoodliffe says :


    And how is this so? The problem with individually purchased cover is that it is dependent on the invidiuals purchasing power which of course is determined by their income.

    Dont pretend you dont have an ideological reasons for arguing the opposite when you clearly do.


  13. Thomas Byrne says :

    Well, no, it would be more closely matched to a Singaporian type system.

    The thing that people don’t realize about the US healthcare system is that it not anything like a free market. In fact, the US government spends more money per capita on healthcare than the UK government does – think about that for a second, because it means that the government in what is supposedly a private healthcare system spends more than the government here in a socialized system.

    AND, it’s more regulated.


  14. darrellgoodliffe says :


    I really dislike the Singapore argument for reasons I outline elsewhere;

    “As for your lauding of the Singoporean system it beggars belfe that people still argue this way. I remember the classic example of this being the promise of Japanese style high-speed wonder rail with the advent of privitisation; look how that turned out (…)

    Also, as with the Japanese example, you can not artifically transplant one model from one country to the next because socities are structured in different ways.”

    Thanks for the link but I cant access the premium content. Surely it spends more money though because in a desperate scramble to try and provide even the megre coverage it does it has to operate within a market enviroment. Your actually arguing socialised medicine is more cost-effective now btw which is interesting….


  15. Thomas Byrne says :

    “supposedly a private healthcare system”

    Repeat after me: in a real free market healthcare system, we wouldn’t see the government spending more per capita than in socialized healthcare systems.

    I agree, the American system is bad. But you’re not giving any argument as to why it’s bad because of its free market aspects rather than its government run aspects. I think the latter is quite heavily to blame, and I’d suggest you read books like this if you want to see why. ( )

    In terms of the British NHS debate, It’s no coincidence that a system like France’s, with a far greater role for markets and private insurance, outperforms the NHS on just about every aspect.


  16. darrellgoodliffe says :


    A rite! This is the the utopian libertarian vision of a truly free market. Something that will never happen and if it did would fundementally destroy our social system and eventually, in all probability, lead to all kinds of nasty and unwanted social upheavels!

    Would that be the same France which boasts one of the most expensive health care systems in the world, that constantly runs a deficit or another France? You see….investment can get results 🙂


  17. Thomas Byrne says :

    That would be the France who’s health system is heavily market based, that is all.


  18. darrellgoodliffe says :


    No ahem about it. I said one of the most not the most; fully excepting the US is above. I do object to your characterisation of the French system as ‘heavily market based’; that presents a rather skewed picture of the actual one. It’s a mix of public and private provision; I doubt for example, NFR would favour the French route because employers tend to pick up most of the taxation tab.


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