Return assets to the public
Some top civil servants convinced Gordon Brown, and then Tony Blair, they'd thought up a terrific policy to finance new hospitals, called private finance initiative (PFI).
Who knows what peerages and knighthoods were handed out to civil servants because of it.
Unfortunately PFI is a failure, costing taxpayers much more than anyone realised it ever would – even those in Whitehall who thought it up for us.
It is time for us all, as a nation, to admit PFI has been a massive, expensive failure.
We need to take these NHS assets back into public ownership urgently, by nationalisation if necessary.
I am not suggesting nationalisation without compensation.
But the PFI contracts, leasing hospitals and big pieces of equipment to us at huge cost, can be brought to an end by a simple act of Parliament.
A fair price can be paid for those assets taken into public ownership if we want to.
After all, isn’t that what the founding fathers of the NHS did back in 1947?
Couldn’t many of the financial problems in the NHS be brought to an end this way?
Then maybe Whitehall would allow us to keep all of our A&E departments after all.
Nigel F H Boddy,
Solicitor and former parliamentary researcher,