In 1988 MP Oliver Letwin co-authored a paper with John Redwood outlining the steps required to privatise the NHS. In many ways NHS privatisation had already started with the Griffiths Report , so
Britain's Biggest Enterprise was by no means the first or only attempt to sketch out a privatisation strategy for the NHS, but this document went further and became the blueprint for the decades-long process of dismantling the NHS in England. It was published around the same time as a
review of the NHS by the Thatcher government, both of which were shortly followed by the National Health Service and Community Care Act . You might say that
Britian's Biggest Enterprise is to the 'NHS and Community Care Act' as the white paper Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS is to the 2012 Health and Social Care Act .
The following extract sums it up:
The range of options which needs to be considered is itself a matter for considerable debate. It should include as a minimum:
- Establishment of the NHS as an independent trust.
- Increased use of joint ventures between the NHS and the private sector.
- Extending the principle of charging.
- A system of 'health credits'.
- A national health insurance scheme.