Wednesday, 20 May 2009

NHS funding

A day off from campaigning in Blaydon to go and sit on the board of the NHS care trust for which I am a non executive director. A very interesting meeting, although the NHS has a language of its own, which I am still trying to decipher! A need for more plain speaking is always worth raising, as I do.

I have found an interesting fact out that rings alarm bells with me. NHS primary care trusts across all of the North East fund an organisation campaigning against smoking and tobacco consumption, Fresh North East. Find their website at www.freshne.com. This funding is large and is in the hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Much of the work of the organisation is commendable, especially its smoking cessation programmes. But a large part of its work is in lobbying MPs and government. This leaves me feeling a bit awkward as we are using government money to lobby government. This doesn't seem right to me so I am investigating it. It also makes me wonder how common government funding for government lobbying is. Let me know your views or if you know of other examples.

1 comment:

  1. When government money is funding government lobbying it would seem the only reason can be that the government is creating the illusion that it is responding to public opinion when it is not.

    Another that might be worth looking at is the "Campaign for Better Transport" (formerly Transport 2000). It seems to get a large proportion of its funding from the "National Business Travel Network", an organisiation which it runs on behalf of the Department of Transport. So again, government is funding a body that lobbies government.

    I am sure there are lots of others!

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