Sunday, July 03, 2005

Secret reports on UK crime, hospitals and transport,9061,1519687,00.html

Secret reports by Lord Birt, Blair's strategy chief, have been released under the Freedom of Information Act.

The health report, dated June 2002, paints a bleak picture of the NHS. Lord Birt warns that Britain "performs poorly in international comparisons of mortality, particularly for women and for life expectancy at 65... and it performs badly on the few specific measures of medical intervention quality which are available, such as survival rates for cancers."

Lord Birt said: "Britain's key problem is a shortage of medical system capacity, which drives poorer medical outcomes but also, crucially, waiting times, the most important drivers of patient dissatisfaction".

The report on crime, in December 2000, estimates that the number of crimes committed each year is 130m — about 10 times more than official data indicates.

Birt blames the rise in crime on “the decline of institutions and experiences that brought discipline and order to lives: the family, the churches, apprenticeships, National Service”.

A summary of his report on transport in 2001 says: "The British travel much the same as other Europeans, yet our road and rail network is the least developed of any major country - the result of decades of below-average investment."

Lord Birt has been criticised because he is also on the payroll of McKinseys, the management consultants.

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