In 2006 David Cameron said: “..the NHS is safe in my hands.”
BEFORE THE GENERAL ELECTION 2010
David Cameron promised: “What I can tell you is, any cabinet minister, if I win the election, who comes to me and says: “Here are my plans,” and they involve front-line reductions, they’ll be sent straight back to their department to go away and think again.
” With the Conservatives there will be no more of the tiresome, meddlesome, top-down re-structures that have dominated the last decade of the NHS.”
SINCE THE GENERAL ELECTION 2010..
5,870 NHS nurses, 7,968 hospital beds and a third of ambulance stations have been cut.
The Coalition brought in the biggest top-down reorganisation of the service in its history.
The Health and Social Care Act 2012.
The act removed responsibility for the health of citizens from the Secretary of State for Health, which the post had carried since the inception of the NHS in 1948.
It abolished NHS primary care trusts (PCTs) and Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs) and transferred between £60 billion and £80 billion of “commissioning”, or health care funds, from the abolished PCTs to several hundred “clinical commissioning groups”, partly run by the general practitioners(GPs) in England but a major point of access for private service providers.
The Act was opposed at the time by the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of Midwives, the British Medical Association and the Royal College of General Practitioners in “outright opposition” to the bill.
There was also huge public opposition
, with the biggest fear being that the Act would open the NHS to the private sector, with NHS contracts being open to bids from the private providers.
THREE YEARS SINCE THE ACT PASSED..
A third of NHS contracts in England have been awarded to private sector.
Of 3,494 contracts awarded by 182 Clinical Commissioning Groups in England between April 2013 and August 2014, 33% went to the private sector.
Last year contracts monitored by the NHS Support Federation campaign group show that private firms won £3.54bn of £9.628bn worth of deals awarded in England – a win rate of 36.8%.
And responses from GP-led clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to a Labour freedom of information request reveal that private firms have been winning 40% of contracts CCGs have put out to tender, worth a total of £2.3bn, only slightly fewer than the 41% awarded to NHS bodies.
One of the biggest private contractors in the NHS, Virgin Care has two arms to its business: 24 GP-led provider companies that provide NHS services through networks of GP surgeries; and community-based NHS services.
Virgin Care, which has been handed contracts worth hundreds of millions of pounds to run more than 230 NHS and social care services, has a company structure including tax havens, meaning it pays no tax in the UK.
NHS patients have had to endure longer waits for treatment as NHS hospitals have increasingly maximised their income from private patients, the number of which has gone up by as much as 58% since 2010.
A&E waiting times in England this year are the worst since records began.
More than one million hospital bed days have been lost because of delayed discharges in the past year,
The number of days health managers are forced to keep patients in hospital because they cannot be transferred into the community has risen by nearly 20 per cent in a year and is now at a record level, at a cost to the NHS of £287m.
The delays and bed-blocking on cuts to social care budgets, which have been reduced by £3.5bn since 2010.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT IF THE CONSERVATIVES STAY IN POWER…
A leaked document has warned 64 out of 98 NHS hospitals polled are set to overspend by a combined £759million in 2015/16 – treble the size of last year’s deficit.
And across the NHS as a whole, the secret shortfall is estimated to hit almost £2billion.
Two thirds of hospitals face having to make swingeing cuts.
Which could mean cuts in Nurses.
We have just learnt that a new list of approved suppliers to the NHS could lead to a multi-billion pound land grab by a handful of corporations.
This will lead to further privatisation of our NHS.The scope of the private firms is being massively expanded.They will be able to provide services that up until now were done by the NHS
It will result in conflicts of interest as a number of the private firms are also advising the GPs’ commissioning groups.
Four companies dominate the list of approved suppliers published last week. Capita, KPMG, PwC and UnitedHealth, the previous employer of NHS CEO, Simon Stevens, are now listed as suppliers to six of the nine regional consortiums set up to help GPs’ commissioning groups procure services. Ernst and Young is a supplier to four consortiums while McKinsey has been named as a supplier to five. All are members of the Commissioning Support Industry Group, which is a low-profile body that affords them regular access to the senior NHS officials overseeing the creation of the new market in commissioning services.
Dr Jacky Davis, founder member of Keep Our NHS Public, said: “This announcement marks the final step in giving the private sector the power, influence and a big slice of the NHS budget. There is now a massive conflict of interest with private companies like UnitedHealth, KPMG and McKinsey in charge of the GPs’ budget and increasingly buying care from the self-same private sector. The Tories have put Dracula in charge of the blood bank.”
A group of American medical experts wrote a letter to The Guardian in March.They said: “We express concern over recent movements toward transferring more and more services to for-profit corporations in your healthcare system, and measures that encourage the development of a self-pay market for care.
“Access to treatment should not depend on whether someone can spare the money.
“While some may say the changes in England have so far only been at the margins, it is the risk of a slippery slope that should cause concern.”
The Labour party have accused The Tories of covering up a report they commissioned planning the next five years of The NHS, for another re-organisation of NHS bureaucracy after the election.
The report was handed to the government a few months ago, but they have delayed the public being able to see it until after the election!
Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary, said: “David Cameron should come clean with the British people about his plans for the NHS after the election. He commissioned a major report on how to change the way the health service is run but has buried the findings.
“They won’t tell us what’s in it. They won’t tell us what they plan to do with it. They won’t tell us what they plan to do with the NHS. But we do know one thing. We know who wrote it: the Conservative peer, Lord Rose.
“Lord Rose may be good at running supermarkets. But I say to David Cameron: you can’t run the NHS like a supermarket, we don’t want a supermarket health service, so publish this report and show us what is in your secret plan.”
AN OPEN LETTER FROM NHS STAFF
More than 100 senior health professionals write in a personal capacity outlining their view of how the NHS in England has fared under the coalition;
After five years of a government which pledged to protect the NHS, this election campaign makes it timely to assess its stewardship, since 2010, of England’s most precious institution. Our verdict, as doctors working in and for the NHS, is that history will judge that this administration’s record is characterised by broken promises, reductions in necessary funding, and destructive legislation, which leaves health services weaker, more fragmented, and less able to perform their vital role than at any time in the NHS’s history.
In short, the coalition has failed to keep its NHS pledges.
The 2012 Health and Social Care Act is already leading to the rapid and unwanted expansion ofthe role of commercial companies in the NHS. Lansley’s Act is denationalising healthcare because the abolition of the duty to provide an NHS throughout England abdicates government responsibility for universal services to ad hoc bodies (such as clinical commissioning groups) and competitive markets controlled by private-sector-dominated quangos.
In particular, the squeeze on services is hitting patients. People may be unaware that under the coalition, dozens of Accident & Emergency departments and maternity units have been closed or earmarked for closure or downgrading. In addition, 51 NHS walk-in centres have been closed or downgraded in this time, and more than 60 ambulance stations have shut and more than 100 general practices are at risk of closure
The core infrastructure of the NHS is also being eroded with the closure of hospitals and thousands of NHS beds since 2010.
Mental health and primary care are faring no better – with both in disarray due to funding cuts and multiple reorganisations driven by ideology, not what works. Public health has been wrenched out of the NHS, where it held the ring for coordinated and equitable services for so long.
In September 2014, the Royal College of General Practitioners said that the wait to see a GP is a “national crisis”.
In England the waiting list to see a specialist stands at 3 million people, and in December 2014 NHS England estimated that nearly 250,000 more patients were waiting for treatment across England who are not on the official waiting list.
Throughout England, patients have been left queueing in ambulances and NHS trusts have resorted to erecting tents in hospital car parks to deal with unmet need.
A&E target waiting times have not been met for a year, and are at the worst levels for more than a decade; and elderly, vulnerable patients are marooned in hospital because our colleagues in social care have no money or staff to provide much-needed services at home.
Funding reductions for local authorities (in some places reductions as high as 40%) have undermined the viability of many local authority social care services across England. This has resulted in more patients arriving at A&E and more patients trapped in hospital as the necessary social care support needed to ensure their safe discharge is no longer there.
The NHS is withering away, and if things carry on as they are then in future people will be denied care they once had under the NHS and have to pay more for health services. Privatisation not only threatens coordinated services but also jeopardises training of our future healthcare providers and medical research, particularly that of public health.
Given the obvious pressures on the NHS over the last five years, and growing public concern that health services now facing a very uncertain future, we are left with little doubt that the current government’s policies have undermined and weakened the NHS.
The way forward is clear: abolish all the damaging sections of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 that fragment care and push the NHS towards a market-driven, “out-for-tender” mentality where care is provided by the lowest bidder. Reversing this costly and inefficient market bureaucracy alone willsave significant sums. Above all, the secretary of state’s duty to provide an NHS throughout England must be reinstated, as in Scotland and Wales.
As medical and public health professionals our primary concern is for all patients.
We invite voters to consider carefully how the NHS has fared over the last five years, and to use their vote to ensure that the NHS in England is reinstated.
SAVE OUR NHS
The Act must be stopped and the NHS must to be put fully back into public hands.Stop profit being made out of our NHS.
Billions must be pumped back into Social care to relieve the stress on the NHS and make the lives of the elderly better.
OUR NHS can’t take five more years of The Conservatives!
‘SAVE OUR NHS’
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