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Dobbo warned Blair against targets and competition

A former Labour Cabinet Minister broke ranks last night and disowned Tony Blair’s government for the ‘reckless’ NHS shake-up blamed for the Mid-Staffordshire hospitals scandal.

Frank Dobson, Health Secretary from 1997-99, said he warned Mr Blair that a ‘mad rush’ to bring in more competition and targets in hospitals could harm patients. But Mr Blair ignored him and gave his Cabinet job to a crony who agreed to force through the changes.

Dobson said: “I told Blair that reckless changes could undermine patient care, but he didn’t want to listen.”

Dobson criticised two of his Blairite successors as Health Secretary – Alan Milburn and Patricia Hewitt.

He said: “They became obsessed with wanting to break up the NHS into individual units. I made my views known to them but was ignored. They preferred to take the advice of management consultants to medical consultants.

“Huge sums were diverted  away from nurses, doctors and patients to lawyers, accountants and PR men.”

Read more in the Daily Mail.

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