The idea that the NHS might only fund a restricted core of services – with many patients having to go private for others – was raised by the government in the small print of this report launched by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown on 19th March.

Significantly, if one looks at page 75, the report states that the government should “look at the possibility of drawing up a package of services that all users are entitled to.” Moreover, according to the Financial Times of 20 March, the Department of Health confirmed that it is “looking at the possibility in the normal process of policy development” and agreed that deciding what everyone was entitled to would also involve deciding “what they are not entitled to.”