Media coverage: solving the NHS care and cash crisis

Reform has published a new report, Solving the NHS care and cash crisis, co-authored by Norman Warner, a former Health Minister in Tony Blair’s government and Jack O’Sullivan, on the need to radically reform health and care services and funding. The report has received extensive coverage in both print and broadcast media.

The Twitter hashtag for the report is #reformwarner.

Print Media

The Financial Times

The Financial Times quotes Lord Warner “If we are not careful, the UK public sector could go the way of General Motors in the US – bankrupted by its own health insurance system” (FT).

The Daily Telegraph

The Daily Telegraph covers the report’s proposal to “charge patients ‘£10 a month for using NHS’” (Telegraph – print only).

The Times

The Times cites the report “even with major changes to care, it is now irresponsible to pretend to the public that current forms of taxation alone will be sufficient to provide a good quality health and care system” (Times).

The Guardian

In an Op Ed for The Guardian, Lord Warner and Jack O’Sullivan write that “over-protecting an outdated, cosseted and unaffordable healthcare system inevitably means starving other vital public services, unless we choke off economic growth and worsen the cost of living with big tax increases.” The Guardian also reports on its front page that the proposals “immediately prompted a heated debate amongst doctors” (Op Ed, Guardian).

The Independent

In its coverage the Independent quotes the Department of Health which states “we know that with an ageing population there’s more pressure on the NHS, which is why we need changes to services that focus far more on health prevention out of hospitals” (Independent).

The Daily Mail

The Daily Mail quotes Lord Warner “The NHS has to change radically. It should have no more hand-outs at the expense of other public services” (Mail).

The Daily Express

In a front page story the Daily Express reports that “the £10 membership could also entitle more people to an annual ‘health MoT’ of basic checks” (Express).

The Sun

The Sun also quotes Lord Warner “We can no longer pay homage to an out-of-date and unaffordable NHS. The day of reckoning has arrived with an obesity epidemic on our doorstep” (Sun).

The Mirror

The Mirror cites co-author Jack O’Sullivan “This doesn’t require another big reorganisation or lots of hospital closures. It focuses the NHS on what it can do with you rather than on what it can do to you” (Mirror).

BBC Online

Writing for the BBC Online “Scrubbing up” blog, Lord Warner and Jack O’Sullivan write “new streams of dedicated revenue are required to allow the NHS to remain largely tax-funded and free at the point of delivery” (BBC Online).


In a blog for ConservativeHome, Andrew Haldenby, Director of Reform, argues that “the Conservative Party might be forgiven for wanting to leave NHS reform well alone. Norman Warner is suggesting that that is not an option for any party hoping to present a credible public services policy at the next Election” (ConservativeHome).

The report was also covered by the Health Service Journal, ITN News, Public Finance, Metro, Daily Star and Benedict Brogan’s Morning Briefing.

Broadcast Media

Today Programme

Speaking on the Today Programme this morning, Lord Warner argued that “the mood is changing…we cannot go on funding from income tax an NHS that is not fit for purpose”.

Daily Politics

Lord Warner appeared on the Daily Politics Show yesterday arguing that the Government cannot go on “shoving more money into the NHS from general taxation with the situation we have got” (Daily Politics).

ITV Daybreak

Lord Warner also appeared on ITV’s Daybreak arguing that “something has to give” when the NHS faces a £30 billion funding gap.

BBC Breakfast

For BBC Breakfast Lord Warner argued that “you cannot wish away a £30 billion black hole in the NHS finances.”

BBC Radio London

On BBC Radio London, Lord Warner argued that London has “led the way” in reforming stroke care but there are still too many District General Hospitals.

BBC 5 Live

Speaking to BBC 5 Live Lord Warner suggested that even if the NHS became significantly more efficient there would still be a funding gap that would need to be closed by new funding streams ( 5 Live, 13 mins).

Cathy Corrie, Researcher at Reform, also appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss the broader topic of alternative funding streams for the NHS (5 Live, 20 mins).

LBC Radio

Andrew Haldenby, Director of Reform, appeared on LBC Radio arguing that a NHS membership fee would not only raise revenue for the NHS but also help people to focus on their own healthcare.

Lord Warner and Jack O’Sullivan also appeared on Sky News and a number of local BBC Radio stations to discuss the report (BBC Three Counties, 19 mins and 2 hrs 7 mins; BBC Northampton,1 hr 6 mins).