The King’s Fund has said the same for the last 20 years, and the BMA for much longer. It was Labour who created the NHS Constitution, and Tories and Lib Dems who sought to circumscribe politicians’ NHS powers through the much loved 2012 Act.
What’s the attraction here? Arguments typically revolve around health care being too important to let grubby politicians near.
In my experience, the NHS can be very introverted, and in some cases, insular. I worked for the NHS for over 30 years, but it wasn’t until I was running the hospital in Harlow in the late-90s and was invited to participate in a cross-community partnership for the town that I realised that this was the case. That partnership opened my eyes to the wider world beyond my hospital, and most importantly, to the community that we served.
I hope that things have changed since my “epiphany”, and I suspect that if I had worked in a different sector of the NHS I might have become more aware, more quickly. However, I’m not sure that my experience would have necessarily been substantively different.