have we had a thread on this yet? If not, here it is.
'Credit rating agencies such as Standard & Poor's and Moody's will be asked to assess whether hospitals are financially robust enough to treat patients under proposals put forward by the government's NHS regulator.
The agencies – blamed for failing to spot the credit crunch in 2008 and currently engaged in a diplomatic row over their downgrade of eurozone countries – would be required to vet the financial strengths of any provider of NHS services in case they go bust.
In a series of papers, Monitor, the NHS regulator, proposes replacing its current assessment, which looks at clinical quality and how well hospitals "co-operate" in the NHS, with a new regime that will ask "major credit ratings agencies (Standard & Poor's, Moody's and Fitch)" to give "a clear indication of the financial strength of the [healthcare provider] and the perceived capabilities of its board and executive team".
Under the proposals, any provider, either a hospital trust or private company, that failed to achieve an "investment grade" rating – BBB- by Standard & Poor's, Baa3 by Moody's and BBB- by Fitch – would risk losing its licence to operate in the NHS.'
Michael Gove's been going out of his way to make an arse of himself recently but Lansley remains a truly weapons-grade crank.