According to Nick Clegg, it is a “great crisis” that after record investment, the NHS remains one of the most unequal health services in the world. He joins a long history of politicians who have been frustrated by inequality of provision. They are usually of a communist persuasion, and hang round public libraries.
I, on the other hand, am cleanly shaved and order from Amazon. So therefore inequality of coverage is a good thing. When one hospital or trust does something better than another, it is imitated and improved upon. It means that the quality of healthcare is constantly improving. However, to facilitate this process, control needs to be de-centralised and trusts allowed to compete with each other.
Those to my left find it abhorrent that through a simple accident of birth, some have to cope with inferior healthcare. Therefore the state should step in and correct the imbalance. The conventional way to do so is by centralising funds, wages and administration, and by setting targets. This way inequalities can be reduced (though, probably not).
Nick Clegg, however, has a radical plan. Somehow he thinks that by de-centralising power (good), he will be able to iron-out the creases (not good, and wrong).
To conclude… Centralisation can produce more even coverage, though at a cost to competition. De-centralisation can produce less even coverage, though competition is increased. And Nick Clegg has more chance of walking into Downing Street, than he does of doing anything other than the above.