Private provision of public services more efficient than public?

Forum Forums General chat Private provision of public services more efficient than public?

This topic contains 10 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  doc 6 days, 23 hours ago.

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  • #426

    jimmy
    Participant

    It is often bandied about online that the private sector is more efficient at providing public services than the public sector. Well today I accompanied a client for a Personal Independence Payment interview, she had to travel 15 miles to a centre, for a nine o’clock appointment (had she been late by more than ten minutes the interview would not have happened). She was finally called in a 9:45, the explanation for the delay being that she had provided them with a lot of information about her health, so it had taken them so long to read it!
    Does anyone actually think that this is an efficient use of time, given that the assessor then had to go through the questions on her form, many of which had no relationship to the clients health issues?

    #427

    GGG
    Participant

    Certainly not! The private companies who administer these assessments often get decisions catastrophically wrong. We only need to look at how many people have been assessed as ineligible, to either have the decision overturned on appeal and in some cases (usually ESA), people have been declared ‘fit for work,’ had their benefits stopped immediately, then died within a few weeks. This is not the odd case; it’s thousands of the most vulnerable people in society who have died and it is quite frankly shameful.

    #428

    carl
    Participant

    Well yes of course the those running things who are employed by state work in bastion of efficiency ,never make a wrong decision , always treat the tax payer and those using the services they provide with dignity and give a good service.
    Does anyone really think that life is as simple as state good private bad or vice versa.
    It worth pointed out that those who commissioned the service OP described might have made a better job of it had they been spending their own money not that of great faceless and much put upon taxpayer.

    #429

    orange
    Participant

    @carl Theses private companies are responsible for catastrophic errors resulting in people committing suicide through desperation. They have also been declaring people ‘fit for work’ thus not eligible for ESA and/or PIP, and thousands of these people have died within a few weeks. Theses companies are set targets to reduce or stop altogether the benefits to which these vulnerable people are entitled. I understand that you will not care about this, of course.

    #430

    Kerry
    Participant

    I don’t think you can judge the efficiency until you get the report through and identify the number of errors which bear no relation to what is said…..

    And then add the appeal and tribunal time on too.

    I hope your client doesn’t have these issues of course but it seems to me that the whole PIP situation is so ridiculous but I imagine on paper they are saving money from the people who don’t feel able to proceed with appeals.

    #431

    jimmy
    Participant

    I don’t think you can judge the efficiency until you get the report through and identify the number of errors which bear no relation to what is said…..

    And then add the appeal and tribunal time on too.

    I hope your client doesn’t have these issues of course but it seems to me that the whole PIP situation is so ridiculous but I imagine on paper they are saving money from the people who don’t feel able to proceed with appeals.

    @kerry I hope she doesn’t have those issues either, but feel that she may well. I am hoping that the errors are kept to a minimum, given that I was there to witness the interview (although I am aware of interviews where a third party has been there and the “errors” have occurred.
    The 45 minute wait, in what by definition is a stressful situation, for a woman with mental health problems, seemed ridiculous and very inefficient to me.

    #432

    Liam
    Participant

    @orange I do agree that it is not as simple as private V public services. For example, after some horrid experiences with the NHS, I pay for private medical insurance. I can assure you that the service I get under the private umbrella is far superior to what I have had on the NHS.

    I am not intending to start a medical private/nhs war, as I know that there are many factors, and the NHS staff are wonderful and mis managed. I am just using that as a platform to say IMO the fault is in those who have historically mis-uesd the system, claiming for benefits to which they are not entitled.

    I think people mis-using the system are why officials don’t believe a word of what genuine people say.

    My own mother cannot get a disabled badge, because she can walk 100 yards. They won’t take into account that without the wider parking spaces she can’t get out of the car. She has to park further away to get a space at the end of a row. Once she has walked to the shop she then can’t walk round the shop – rather negating the purpose of the trip.

    I don’t blame the disability scheme, I believe that is run publicly (?) despite them giving her upset and frustration, and limiting her years of being independent. I blame all those people who have mis-used them in the past so making rules so strict.

    Being late I for an appointment so they could read the document is tardy, but I believe would have happened under either system. As it is a decision by panel they have to be able to discuss what is written, and confirm anything they are not sure of. This is all to the good, I guess they don’t have time to pre-read all documentation. At least the did read the documentation in order to consider their decision.

    Not that I think it was right for your client to be turned down, just as it is not right that my mother is able to drive to places still, but is then unable to exit the car in a parking space. But, as I said, I blame those who have claimed what they are not entitled to. The private companies are set the amount of work to do, and are mis-managed just as a public body would be.

    Do I think this is good enough? No. Do I think the NHS is currently good enough at Casualty level. No. I just don’t think it is as simple as Public V Private.

    #433

    lucky
    Participant

    Then there is the question of whether foreign private companies are more efficient and value-for-money than our own private companies.

    #434

    katy
    Participant

    For example, after some horrid experiences with the NHS, I pay for private medical insurance. I can assure you that the service I get under the private umbrella is far superior to what I have had on the NHS.

    @liam I understand how you feel after horrid experiences within the NHS. After excellent treatment at a specialist cancer NHS hospital (Leeds), my late OH was admitted to our local hospital, for what turned out to be end-of-life care and I had to fight, even for pain relief for him. It was an absolute nightmare! Of course some individual nurses/HCA were superb but some appeared to be completely uncaring and tbh, the systems were so unwieldy that for any-one to negotiate them was incredibly difficult.

    My greatest fears about the insidious privatisation of the NHS is that some people will find it impossible to access the health care that they need. And not necessarily because they can’t pay (my friend would have been perfectly able to pay for her treatment). It also worries me that if insurance companies get involved in funding treatment for people, they will be as choosy about their input as they are about horse treatment. Imagine if all those of us who have had a broken leg are later denied treatment for e.g. varicose veins, or DVT. As those in other countries have found it can be very difficult to get insurance companies to pay to treat long term conditions.

    Atm, those who choose to take out private health insurance here, do so in the certain knowledge that should a problem arise, the NHS will act as a safety net.

    I cannot think of any organization which cannot be improved, whether public or private, but I do object to having my taxes contribute to the profits made by private companies who are commissioned to provide public services, when that money could be better used in improving the service.

    #435

    SueSmith
    Participant

    I am privately covered as well so far it paid for my hospital stay when I broke my back It reconstructed my leg six surgeries I think some of which where done in nhs hospitals and the cost covered it also did my hip replacement .
    Huge saving to the NHS.
    I don’t care if the NHS buys services from private providers I don’t see it any different that the fact they don’t grow the food they serve however I do expect them to commission and oversee the services efficiently .

    #436

    doc
    Participant

    Private health care is subsidised by the NHS and taxpayers money right now, for example most staff will have been trained in NHS hospitals. When the NHS completely goes then you’ll find out what it actually costs. My sister pays over £15,000 dollars a year for private health insurance and that doesn’t pay for everything on top of that there are thousands of dollars of “deductibles” that the insurance doesn’t pay.

    Now her husbands business has gone down the drain she can’t afford the insurance so has no health cover at all. At 62 she’s just started a job in a clothes shop to try to get corporate health care cover but you only get it if you’re full time – plus 40 hours a week! At 65 she’ll hopefully qualify for Medicare but until then if she becomes ill she’s stuffed.

    Private sector make money but do they provide a good service? Well let’s think about how good telecoms and energy providers are, how builders always do a fantastic job and trains always run on time.

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