The English NHS is at the very end of a key consultation on the future of its "mandate" — which sets out its goals and budgets — and though the public has been able to comment since October, the NHS hasn't bothered to tell anyone about it.
NHS England renews its mandate annually, and each renewal involves a public consultation. This year, the NHS did its consultation without any press announcements, public statements or fanfare.
It's almost like the Tories, who've been dismantling the NHS since day one of the last coalition Parliament, don't want any feedback on their management of the system.
You can read and comment on the mandate here.
Molloy says we need to be aware of the mandate and its contents. "Since the 2012 changes, government is less accountable for NHS provision at a local level. Local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) like Devon can attempt to stop providing routine operations for people who are obese or smoke, CCGs across the country are refusing people hearing aids for both ears and stripping away a host of other NHS treatment – and the government has effectively given away its power to stop them. The mandate represents the remaining political accountability by the government for NHS provision."
Molloy thinks the government is planning to scale back what the NHS does and doesn't provide. "Coded policy signals suggest to me that we are being softened up for the idea that the NHS is in crisis and we can't afford to treat people as we used to."
You've been asked to have your say on the NHS. You just don't know about it
[Ann Robinson/The Guardian]