Thursday, 15 March 2018

Who can we entrust to save our NHS, if not ourselves

An article in 'the Guardian' today exposes the truth about Labour peers supporting STPs and privatisation of the NHS. 

Thu 15 Mar 2018
In todays newspaper, Warner and Oldham said "The NHS England Five Year Forward view [the document all STPs are based on] and related initiatives are important steps in the right direction". Norman Warner and John Oldham

Norman Warner (Lord Warner) served as a Labour health minister from 2003-07 and now sits on the cross benches and Sir John Oldham is the adjunct professor for global health at Imperial College, and is the former chair of the Independent Commission on Whole Person Care.

Labour advisor 'Simon Stevens' the current boss of NHS England devised the Five year forward view, a document all STPs are based on. As with John Oldham's global health operations, Stevens was ex vice president of U.S firm Unitedhealth's Global operations wishing to implement profit making American healthcare models across Europe. Stevens' Five year view is to implement insurance-based Accountable Care Organisations (ACOs) here in England.

Labour peer' Lord Carter' also supports the STP models and recently visited Preston county hall in Lancashire meeting with health trusts and civic leaders debating his private care at home model.

Today however, Warner and Oldham suggested something that would shock many traditional  Labour supporters. They suggest the following principles should apply to sourcing new revenue for the NHS and care system.

■ creating an 'extra tax' to be paid by workers on zero hours contracts
increase in taxes for the elderly ensuring they 'pay their fair share'
■  Lifestyles costly to the NHS and care system should exact a premium (this means those with unforeseen circumstance such as being overweight due to medications would pay extra premiums)
REMOVING winter fuel allowance for some pensioners & increasing taxes for pensioners with money above the basic state pension (tax on hard earned savings)

Warner & Oldham claim the above is needed to generate a 'reliable source of income' for the NHS. Paying no attention at all to where money can be saved such as removing bureaucracy and the internal market Warner's party created, they instead plough on with the old chestnut that we all need to pay more and more....
In an attempt to justify these disgraceful attacks on working people, Warner and Oldham in their Guardian news article proceed to scaremonger the public with stories about what 'might' happen if their draconian principles were not implemented.

Ironically, the former Labour health minister Lord Warner, who has 'formed an unholy alliance with the rightwing thinktank Reform' ; supports upfront charges for the NHS. In the case of Reform, this would be a "suggested" £10 NHS "membership fee" per month. 
The article in today's Guardian is reminiscent of how many Labour MPs and Peers support and promote private companies or policies then leave to work for the private sector industry, i.e. the 'revolving door'. Warner is certainly in that category.

New Labour's 'Tony Blair' appointed Carter as a Labour peer in 2004.
Lord Carter co-founded private nursing home company 'Westminster Health Care' in 1985 with Martin Bradford. He's been lobbying for the private care-home sector to take on more patients from over-stretched NHS hospitals ever since Simon Stevens revealed the STP plans for England.

Carter was also previously president of Mckesson enterprise ltd international operations group (business portfolio holder), Mckesson specialise in orthopedic imaging/consultancy private sector work.

In 1985, Lord Carter founded Westminster Health Care which he built into a leading health care provider and subsequently sold in 1999. Carter is now a private investor and director of public and private companies in the fields of insurance, healthcare and information technology.

Previously many Labour politicians have made full use of the 'revolving door' between the private healthcare industry and government. Alan Milburn and Patricia Hewitt are among the ten previous health ministers who have taken lucrative consultancies with private health care companies.

If this is the view of Labour peers such as Lord Carter and Lord Warner (now a cross-bench peer), then what do Labour MPs think of all this support for changing the NHS into a private insurance-based American model?

Who can we entrust to save our NHS, if not ourselves?

Related Links

Warner & Oldham's Guardian news article

In 2006, Labour Peer Lord Warner supported a secret plan to privatise an entire tier of the NHS in England 

Both Warner and Carter claim NHS hospitals are draining money from elderly care.

NHS users should pay £10 a month, says former Labour health minister Lord Warner

A new report by former Health Minister, Lord Warner, recommends charging people to see their GP, charging people for overnight stays in hospital, or even charging everyone £10 a month for NHS services. 

Revolving door & the cross-party white paper

New Labour's White Paper, was it the blueprint for the STPs five year forward view?

How has it got so far? [Part 1]

How has it got so far? [PART 1] THOSE who should be doing something about defending our NHS are turning a blind eye or partnering with others such as CCGs and privatisers. Some of those who should be defending the NHS are betraying the NHS and selling it off piecemeal (eg GPs on CCG boards). I can honestly put my hand on my heart and say those who could do something aren't, and they are allowing this to happen, and no amount of research or posts or letters I write or shouting I do appears to be getting through. So if all this goes pear shaped, then at least I/we as a group can hold our heads up high saying we did our best and we told you so. Let's not let it get to that stage. You don't know how precious something is until it's gone. That's the NHS, the envy of the world, yet it's being torn apart and handed over bit by bit to the private sector leaving what few NHS services we have left for the poor to fight over as pigeons to crumbs. What evil wishes England to adopt the worst healthcare system in the world (USA) and import it over here, if not for profit? We must never let an injustice pass us by, always question but never leave it alone thinking 'someone else will deal with it', they won't. If not me then who? If not now then when? It's now down to us, and at some stage people will realise just how serious the situation is and wished they'd attended meetings and rallied together to defend our NHS. Today, NHS England have given incentives to all GPs to join a GP federation to increase population list numbers to facilitate a future U.S. business model of an Accountable Care Organisation (ACO). South Cumbria are already rolling out the STPs [1]. Chorley & South Ribble with Preston CCGs are already implementing STP models such as 'care closer to home' by moving services such as audiology, ophthalmology, and ENT out of hospital into private provider clinics. And they have the remit to do this via the Health & Social Care act 2012 which opened up the market to any private provider. The message from the STP team is just 'go ahead and do it' (solutions design team publication 7) Clinical Commissioning Groups are now considering rationing up to 18 more medicines and treatments, taking the total so far to 33. The Lancashire teaching hospital trust propose to create a private subsidiary company, transferring NHS staff and assets to it - nineteen trusts have already done this. How has it got so far? How has it got so far? [1]

Monday, 5 March 2018

Lancashire Health scrutiny councillors asked to support STPs

Health scrutiny councillors in Lancashire are being asked to approve STPS..

The Department of Health & NHS England have paused STPs for a twelve week public consultation as from last Friday 2nd March, yet today, Monday 5th March at county hall Health scrutiny councillors are being asked to approve them..

An email has been sent to councillors on the committee explaining the pause for National public consultation and councillors have been asked to defer any support and agreement until after the consultation...

Dear Health Scrutiny Councillor
Subject: The Department of Health & NHS England have paused STPs for a twelve week public consultation as from last Friday 2nd March, yet on Monday 5th March at county hall you're being asked to approve them....questions need asking (see below)

A letter to the Commons Health Select Committee in February from the health secretary Jeremy Hunt said the details of exactly how Accountable Care Organsations (ACOs) will work, including the contract terms involved, need to be made clear before more work is done [1]. *Sustainability & Transformation Plans are eventually to become ACOs. Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs) is the latest name for ACOs used confusingly in Monday's scrutiny agenda item 5. There are also currently two legal challenges to the validity of ACOs via judicial review.

That hasn't however stopped those pursuing STPs at local level from trying to get agreement from other partners such as scrutiny councillors like yourselves.

Based on the above, please read page 43 of the Agenda item five titled "Current Lancashire and South Cumbria (STP) Level activity" and  ask the following questions at Monday's Health scrutiny committee then call for deferral until after the public consultation on ACOs which started last Friday 2nd March and ends in May 2018...

QUESTION 1: The public consultation about Accountable Care Organisations (ACO's) started at the parliamentary Health select committee only last Friday 2nd March and lasts twelve weeks, yet bullet points (a) and (d) on agenda item 5 is asking us to 'support' action that enables rollout of STPs across Lancashire & South Cumbria, including five ACOs (now called Integrated Care Partnerships or 'ICP' for short). Why are we today being asked to support and hence approve these ACOs/ICPs when public consultation on them has only just started?

QUESTION 2: Agenda item 5: The item on STPs appears to have been included as bullet points under the banner of health inequalities and life expectancy. Whilst this area is generally supported, worryingly, bullet point (f) states that due to declining funds and resources "short term demand management initiatives are likely to be prioritised over strategies to address inequalities".

What exactly does 'demand management' mean? Does this not indicate that 'demand management' - which many see as rationing of healthcare and medicines - will take precedence over strategies that deal with healthcare inequalities and how funds are distributed across communities classed as deprived areas?

QUESTION 3: Do other members not agree, that if we as scrutiny councillors support Agenda item 5 we will be agreeing to something the public and MPs do not understand and have as yet not commented on. Yet bullet points (a) and (d)are  asking us to make a judgement on these ACOs without knowing all the facts. Are we expected to do that whilst consultation has only just started?

MOVE: Consultation about what Integrated Care Partnerships/STPs/ ACOs has only just started. To make a decision to support them as in Agenda item 5 at today's meeting would pre-empt the outcome of the ongoing consultation. I/we move that a decision on supporting agenda item 5 titled "Current Lancashire and South Cumbria (STP) Level activity" be deferred until NHS England and the department of health have completed their public consultation to enable us to make a better informed judgement on what exactly we are supporting.

-- Ends --

ACOs Paused for consultation

Health Scrutiny Agenda for Monday 5th March


Agenda item 5 also finishes stating: "These actions will also address the priorities set by the Health and Wellbeing Board".

What are these 'priorities' of the Health and Wellbeing Board? How do these 'priorities' affect the public? and are the Health & Wellbeing Board aware of the pause for consultation before going ahead with STPs/ACOs?

attached: Agenda reports pack (see page 43 onwards)