Public affairs chairman at Bell Pottinger, Peter Bingle said: ‘The PM’s decision to take personal control of the NHS debate is brave but correct. David Cameron is the one Tory politician who is capable to taking both the public and health professionals with him.’
However, despite Cameron’s determination that the NHS reforms will go ahead, Nick Clegg has threatened to block the changes unless they are signficantly ammended.
Weber Shandwick, UK chairman corporate and public affairs, Jonathan McLeod, said: ‘The focus for NHS reform must shift from discussions about structures to a focus on the needs of the patient, if public support is to be won back. The real PR challenge for the coalition is that there can’t be a neat back-room deal on concessions. Clegg needs a public row and a climb down from Cameron, and I am not sure the Tory leader is up for that.’
Bingle added: ‘The challenge Cameron has is convincing the sceptics that the proposed reforms will deliver real patient benefits rather than simply reduces waste and inefficiency. What he must not do is water down the commitment to increase competition. Going forward increased competition will be the key drover to improving the NHS.’