As his own website reports, John Pugh
proposes that the cluster groups of Primary Care Trusts that now temporarily run the local NHS could be the foundation for democratically controlled and clinically led Health Boards similar to those found in Northern Ireland. Such boards would control health and social care avoiding the expensive and disjointed shunting of elderly patients between the NHS and Social Services.
The MP states that he has received a very positive response to his proposals from clinical leaders and says: "It is important that we map out a new direction for the NHS that does not repeat the tired old prescription of more competition and the futile effort to treat the country's health service like a market.You can download the whole paper from the link above.
It is good to see some Lib Dem thinking on health that goes beyond calls to "Save the NHS", "Kill the Bill" and defend the status quo.
Coupled with the report on the future of policing that Tom Brake published the other day, it suggests that intellectual life is stirring on the party's backbenches.