In 2005 my father was admitted to hospital as an emergency with complications of Parkinson's disease. No bed in intensive nursing was available, but the hospital had to meet a target limiting the amount of time a patient could spend in casualty, so Dad was placed in a general nursing ward instead. Over the next fortnight my father was not given any of his medications for Parkinson's, or the other conditions he suffered from. Initially he was put on a drip, but when he pulled it out in delirium it was not replaced. He could not drink properly so my mother attempted to keep up his liquid level by posting water down his throat with a teaspoon. Dad died two weeks after being admitted. His death certificate records one of the causes of his death as dehydration.
I can take cold comfort from the bleak fact that if Dad had been given a bed in intensive nursing he might not have fared any better, as Margaret Hayward exposed a few months later.
So forgive me for being cynical about the so called improvements to the NHS under Labour. I didn't experience them. I can't say that it is really clear to me how Andrew Lansley's proposed reforms might improve the NHS for patients, but I don't think he can do worse than the Labour government.