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I wanna fly BA

Our editor is worried about cheap flights developing in the NHS.

Is anyone else concerned about the national tariff going?

In the brave new world of GP commissioning local negotiation on price looks set to happen and if prices are driven down won’t quality suffer.

Monitor’s role will be to ensure against predatory pricing by firms to kill competition and the CQC will ensure a service is safe but what about the quality of service for patients? Budget airlines are emphatic about their safety record but what about the experience?

Budget airlines might get you to your destination but when you arrive on the verge of wanting to divorce your partner and it takes a day of your hols to get over the experience you question the saving.

Alright you could argue we currently have a budget airline service in the NHS already – I took my own cleaning products for my last stay in hospital to give the bathroom a once-over and coughed up the cash to watch telly and had the option of paying extra for a private room.

Are GP commissioners going to get tied up in these areas of customer care? Hopefully those that get the importance of the patient experience will remove patient meals from the tariff price they have with their hospital trust and commission local providers to create hospital meals using local produce.

If we’re not careful masses of people will leave the NHS and take up private healthcare.

We snapped up those budget flights when they first came out but now wait to see what’s on offer in the BA sale.

Perhaps I’ve just answered my own question. If patients are empowered enough to know about providers, the cheap and nasty budget ones won’t get the business. But flights compared to a hip replacement are quite different purchases and I don’t yet feel like I am a NHS consumer, I just get given what’s going for free and am made to feel grateful if it’s this side of Christmas

Editor Sue McNulty now only wants to fly British Airways to avoid a divorce Susan Mcnulty