Michael Rosen says care should be ‘core motive' of NHS

The author was treated in hospital for Covid-19 last year.

Michael Rosen has suggested the NHS should be motivated by care and not by the “ever-encroaching market”.

The author and former children’s laureate, who was admitted to hospital in March 2020 and spent seven weeks on a ventilator with Covid-19, said it was important to question the involvement of the private sector in healthcare provision.

Writing in Radio Times, he said he felt especially strongly about the matter given his recent experience.

He said: “As my life has just been saved by the NHS, you can imagine that my feelings towards it are full of a sense of gratitude, affection and admiration – not that I had ever felt otherwise.”

Rosen, whose books include We’re Going On A Bear Hunt, Little Rabbit Foo Foo and Chocolate Cake, questioned whether some private providers were motivated predominantly by profit.

He said: “Two points here: when the market is involved in state-owned bodies, we are all contributing to the companies’ profits.

“Our medical condition makes money for shareholders. This leads to the question of whether the private provider is really motivated by our need for care or by the amount of money they can collect by providing it.

“In hospital in 2020, I received hour upon hour of selfless, tireless, devoted, top-skilled care. This was given to me in order to save my life.

“Call me a purist but it seems to me that this core motive should be what shapes and determines everything in the NHS.

“The ever-encroaching market feels like the wrong motive for the job in hand.”

Read the full piece in Radio Times, out now.

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