Thursday 5th March 2015
Charities should be preferred NHS providers, says Andy Burnham.
Charities could get 10-year contracts to help deliver NHS services if Labour wins the general election, the shadow health secretary, Andy Burnham, has told voluntary sector leaders. Not-for-profit care organisations would be given “a form of preferred provider” status under legislation that a Labour government would introduce to replace parts of the coalition’s 2012 Health and Social Care Act. The move would recognise their contribution to strengthening communities. The announcement came as Burnham sought to allay fears in the voluntary sector that his plan to restore NHS trusts’ preferred provider status for delivery of health services would hit charities as well as private companies.
NHS campaigners rally on streets against privatisation.
Protestors in Winsford joined thousands around the UK in taking to the streets to help gather support to protect the NHS from privatisation. Around 170 people signed the ‘Save our NHS’ petition in Winsford. The petition asks each MP candidate to commit to protecting the NHS from privatization and to keep it out of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) trade deal with the US. The day of action, coordinated by campaign group 38 Degrees, was held across England with more than 10,000 people taking part.
Health Service Journal
Monitor could be asked to examine £350m contract.
A decision by NHS England to hand more than half of the country’s PET-CT imaging services to one company could be the subject of a formal complaint to market regulator Monitor, HSJ has learned.
Left Food Forward
The NHS has never been in more danger.
Kailash Chand OBE writes: In 2010 David Cameron’s coalition government betrayed pre-election promises to protect the NHS. Instead they imposed savage spending cuts and pushed through ‘reforms’ which put at risk the health of the entire population. The Health and Social Care Act 2012 has been described as so ‘complex, confusing and bureaucratic’ that the organisation of the NHS ‘is not fit for purpose’ as a result. The NHS is now at the brink of extinction. The public has been misled about the objectives and consequences of the 2012 Health and Social Care Act. But the coalition’s repeated denials of NHS privatisation do not stand up to scrutiny. The 2012 Act has not just repealed society’s contract with the health service, it has put the NHS on the chopping block, ready to be sold in pieces to private corporations. The Health and Social Care Act raised the cap hospitals could generate from private income to 49 per cent from an average of around two per cent. Privatisation is an ideological luxury which wastes money and destabilises the NHS. It has no purpose other than diverting money to shareholders and enriching a privileged few. We all know people should always come before profit, but the current government thinks otherwise. In the past year, £9 billion worth of our NHS has been put up for sale, while thousands of jobs have been axed, including over 4000 senior nurses. Half of our 600 ambulance stations are earmarked for closure. 50 of the 230 NHS walk-in centres have been closed and 66 A& E and maternity units have been shut or downgraded. The coalition’s policies and privatisation mean the NHS as we know it will be gone in as little as five years if no one speaks up. The NHS will just be a logo; reduced from being the main provider of health services in England with one of the biggest workforces in the world, to a US-style insurance scheme, divorced from the delivery of care. Fewer treatments will be available as cuts start to bite. The ‘new’ NHS is now more fragmented than ever before. It has no primacy over provision, and money is squandered over lost causes such as procurement of contracts and fighting competition from within. There has been a proliferation of small and large providers in the NHS in the last two or three years and the other winners in this revolutionary reform are management consultants. The proliferation of private service providers spells serious problems for the future. For while the public sector seeks to maximise quality and coverage of services, the private sector aims to provide services in order to maximise profits. John Major attempted to suffocate the NHS by bringing in the internal market. David Cameron is fulfilling the dream of the ‘Tory right’ to privatise health care lock-stock and barrel.