Why commission a report if you’re determined to ignore its conclusions?

Last August, the then Labour government commissioned a KPMG report into the future of NHS Direct (along with some other related NHS services). The report has been submitted to the current government, though not published.

So if Labour MPs and members were saying how the government must publish the KPMG report right away to see if it justifies the plans to migrate NHS Direct over to the planned 111 service, fair enough.

But for many in Labour to be demanding that the NHS Direct plans be abandoned without knowing the outcome of the KPMG report is tantamount to saying, “Who cares what that report the Labour government commissioned says? I’ve got my entrenched view and there’s no point looking at any evidence because my mind is firmly made up.” In which case, why bother with commissioning that KPMG report in the first place?

Bit of a waste of money really if you’ve decided you don’t care what it says. And the government could do itself some favours by publishing the report for us all to see.

(By an odd coincidence, by the way, being called “Tom” seems to be the main criteria for saner views on this issue from Labour as it’s Tom Harris MP who blogged this thoughtful piece and Tom Watson MP who has been digging trying to get to see the KPMG report.)

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Forlornehope 1st Sep '10 - 9:36am

    Labour is learning the lesson from the US Republican party. Don’t worry about logic, consistency, honesty or anything else. Just oppose, criticise, condemn. At the moment the Republicans look set to take the House and possibly the Senate. This is an effective approach and might just see a Labour PM back in number 10 within five years.

  • Gregor Murray 1st Sep '10 - 10:23am

    I could ask the same of the Liberal Democrats and their Steele Commission, which they seem to ignore alongwith the Calman Commission, and then of course, there was the Gould Commission that the LDs are also trying to ignore by having the AV referendum in May….

  • Foregone Conclusion 1st Sep '10 - 10:28am

    Whereas aborting a pilot into an alternative halfway through is practical commonsense, and not the same at all.

  • Why did the Dep of Health refuse to release the report under the FOI Act?

  • A Voice from Lothian 1st Sep '10 - 10:35am

    Gregor – the Steel Commission was not ignored. It was published and then was the Liberal Democrat submission to the Calman Commission which was then accepted as a compromise between Labour, Lib Dem and Tory parties in Scotland. The SNP of course refused to take part in the Calman Commission.

  • Mike(the Labour one) 1st Sep '10 - 12:28pm

    How about the contributors to this site, just once, find out Labour’s objections to issues before making posts about them? Wouldn’t that be novel?

  • Gregor Murray 1st Sep '10 - 2:40pm

    Of course the SNP refused to take part in Calman; a Government consultation that looked at ALL options was already underway, taking part in a restricted consultation on top of that is duplication.

    So is the LD position Steele or Calman? It can’t be both.

    Also, Gould?

  • > Paul: the reasons for refusing the FoI request are in the link from the post – basically because it’s about policy formulation.

    And is this a good reason at all? To quote a character from Star Trek TNG, “scrutiny does not frighten us”.

    If people cannot discuss policy because they are so afraid of being damaged by their own words, then perhaps such people should be removed from the process.

    Should not the new politics include that kind of transparency?

  • Certainly no staff at NHS Direct oppose the development off 111, it the need for NHS Direct to be the core of the new number, ensuring patients get a good service and we dont end up with 1,000 nurses on the Dole

    its outrageous that Ministers and Departnement of Health has not said anything to staff

    all they know todate is what is in newspapers

    its not acceptable

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