Mark Britnell - Policy Advisor

Policy Advisor

Britnell plays an active part in the Modernisation Agenda and sat on the Professions Modernisation Action Team which helped produce the NHS Plan. He currently sits on the Capital and Capacity Taskforce for the NHS Plan. He has also represented the Department of Health on the study/development tour of China and plays a leading part in the European Union sponsored development and exchange program with Academic Clinical Centres in South Africa. In May 2011, it was reported that he had been invited to join a panel of health experts to advise Number 10 on health policy and reform in general, but not the reforms in the Health and Social Care Bill 2011.

In 2010, while discussing the reforms to a healthcare industry conference, he was quoted as stating: “In future, The NHS will be a state insurance provider not a state deliverer”, and that “The NHS will be shown no mercy and the best time to take advantage of this will be in the next couple of years.”

KPMG issued a press statement on behalf of Britnell on 16 May 2011 stating “The article in The Observer attributes quotes to me that do not properly reflect discussions held at a private conference last October. Nor was I given the opportunity to respond ahead of publication. I worked in the NHS for twenty years and now work alongside it. I have always been a passionate advocate of the NHS and believe that it has a great future. Like many other countries throughout the world, the pressure facing healthcare funding and provision are enormous. If the NHS is to change and modernize the public, private and voluntary sectors will all need to play their part.” The Health Service Journal website published a longer statement from Britnell on 17 May, prompted by the article in The Observer. In it Britnell explained his perspective on the reform of the NHS. Among wide ranging remarks he stated that “f course, the vast majority of care - quite rightly in the UK context - will always be provided by public sector organisations (currently, about 95% of it) and will be paid out of taxation” and “he issue of competition, which now seems to be conflated with privatisation, is unhelpful and misleading and, at best, only a small part of reform. Competition can exist without privatisation and the NHS can maintain its historic role in funding care while dealing with a richer variety of providers - public sector, social enterprise and private organisations”. Commenting on the UK health service in a piece for the Guardian Health Netwok, Britnell said “I'm proud to have worked for the NHS, with its great people, and now feel privileged to be able to work on health systems internationally.”

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