The government argued that competition between health care providers would lead to cost efficiency and improved quality of care – even though it was already clear that the savings promised by previous governments through privatising hospital cleaning were often at the expense of lower standards and increased hospital-acquired infections. Since then the evidence is mounting that competition does not reduce costs, not least because of the (new) expense of putting all services out to competitive tender, estimated at between £4.5 billion and £30 billion a year. (www.opendemocracy.net/ournhs/caroline-molloy/billions-of-wasted-nhs-cash-noone-wants-to-mention). For more details of the costs of competition, see our page on turning the NHS into a market.
“We made three mistakes that I regret, the first being restructuring the NHS. The rest are minor.”— unnamed Senior Conservative Cabinet Minister