The Cornwall Anti-Cuts Alliance is holding a demonstration in Truro–noon, Lemon Quay–to back the Efford Bill, which is an attempt to rescue the NHS from wholesale privatisation. Demonstrations are scheduled across the country on that date.
Keep Our NHS Public 07/11/2014
NHS bailouts under fire in ‘deeply alarming’ NAO study. Government bailouts for financially troubled hospitals have come under fire from a Whitehall spending watchdog in a report laying bare the deteriorating financial state of the NHS. The National Audit Office report found the “worsening” position and “growing financial stress” experienced by hospitals made the health service unsustainable as a public service. Its analysis found trusts expect to receive £2.2bn more than healthcare commissioners plan to spend in 2015-16 – a funding gap predicted to quadruple to almost £9bn by 2018-19. NAO comptroller and auditor general Amyas Morse described the “growing trend” for NHS trusts to fall into deficit as “not sustainable”. “Until the department can explain how it will work with bodies such as NHS England, Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority to address underlying financial pressures, quickly and without resorting to cash support, we cannot be confident that value for money will be achieved over the next five years HSJ
Private GP providers will have to publish pay. GMS contract requirements to make GPs publish their pay will also be placed upon any primary care providers commissioned by NHS England or CCGs, including private APMS practices, NHS England has said. At the NHS England board meeting on Thursday, national director of commissioning strategy Ian Dodge laid out measures for the co-commissioning of primary care and said it was important for CCGs to ensure ‘consistency across different contractual reforms’, specifically citing the publishing of pay. His comments were made as part of the discussion on what co-commissioning involves, which also revealed that NHS England would be publishing statutory guidance on CCGs avoiding potential conflicts of interest. Pulse’
Stop transatlantic trade deal threatening NHS. A free trade agreement between the European Union and USA is designed to meet the interests of corporations rather than patients and must be stopped in its tracks. This is the conclusion of an editorial in The BMJ this week. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a series of trade negotiations currently being carried out – in secret – between the EU and US. John Hilary, executive director of campaign group War on Want, says its main aim is to reduce regulatory barriers to trade for businesses on both sides of the Atlantic and includes things like food safety rules, environmental legislation and banking regulations. Public services like the NHS are also to be opened up to competition under TTIP. Hilary warns that the market liberalisation introduced by the 2012 Health and Social Care Act “ensures it will be effectively impossible to take the NHS back into public hands if the EU-US deal goes through”. Furthermore, he says both the UK government and the European Commission “have confirmed that TTIP’s investor protection provisions would grant US corporations the power to sue any future administration over such a move”. Hospital Doctor
The NHS five year forward view – a wish-list for privatisers? Stevens’ “Five Year Forward View”, published last week by NHS England, is a collaboration between the six main organisations now running the NHS – Monitor, Health Education England, the NHS Trust Development Authority, Public Health England, the Care Quality Commission and NHS England itself. The “5 year Forward View” reads like a wish-list for further privatisation of the NHS. It may ‘pack a punch‘ for the BBC – which has throttled mainstream media discussion of NHS privatisation. But talk of ‘accountable care organisations’, as developed in Spain and the United States, and the emphasis on preventive health packages so keenly sold by multinational corporates, are paradigmatic of a privatisation plan. The document is a naked shill, intended to carry on the ‘case for change’ made exhaustively by think tanks such as the King’s Fund. Such organisations were instrumental in giving the catastrophic policy of market competition in the National Health Service some legs in the first place. Take, for example, the seemingly-modest proposal of “integrated care commissioning”. In the full glare of sunlight, the policy of personal budgets looks incredibly anaemic. A big unanswered question is how a universal health system is going to be successfully merged with a means-tested social care system. NHS England tried, unsuccessfully to head this issue off at the pass as far back as 2012. Personal health budgets, which Simon Stevens is busy quietly rolling out, are the perfect vehicle for merging the two systems in a way that introduces ‘top ups’ and ‘co-payments’, threatening the fundamental principle of universal, free-at-the-point-of-need. Our NHS
The shape of things to come (Ed).Dover Medical Practice to close as private firm pulls out. Almost 3,500 patients have been told they will have to find a new doctor because their surgery is closing. Concordia Health, the private medical group which manages the Dover Medical Practice in Kent, told NHS England that it was bringing its contract to an end. Dr Ricky Allen, a GP at the practice, said it would leave a lot of vulnerable people without access to a local GP. Concordia Health, which also pulled out of a practice in Broadstairs earlier this year, has not commented. BBC News