NHS privatisation is well under way in Central Lancashire, and it's in plain sight for all to see...
Privatisation: "a process in which non-government actors become increasingly involved in the financing and/or provision of health care services.”The above is the definition of privatisation by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The privatisation plan for Lancashire & South Cumbria has already begun. The local area plan for Central Lancashire [Preston, Chorley, South Ribble] ineptly titled 'Our Health Our Care' is part of the process where private providers are increasingly becoming involved in provision of health services.
The image above shows just a handful of NHS hospital services awarded to private providers by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).
*The latest proposal from the Our Health Our Care program team is to have only one A&E/trauma centre for Central Lancashire. Thus replacing Preston and Chorley A&Es (although Chorley A&E is currently a 12 hour temp A&E).As we can see from the above image, the high-turnover, low risk, lucrative services are moved out of Preston and Chorley hospitals under the Our Health Our Care program straight into the private sector.
The Our Health Our Care program calls this 'care closer to home' or 'care in the community'. In reality, it is fragmentation of NHS services primed for privatisation to line the pockets of the commercial health sector.
This decoupling of hospital services into private clinics results in fewer resources, funds and staff for the NHS: which in turn means NHS bidding power to get the contracts back into the public sector is seriously diminished.
If continued, the NHS will eventually be left with a basic rump state-funded system similar to that seen in 'Integrated Partnerships' in the USA called Accountable Care Organisations (ACOs). This ultimately is what the ex U.S. Medicare director and now head of the NHS wants.See also: NHS CEO Simon Stevens is key player in private healthcare network
The Longer it goes on - the better chance of Privatising a public serviceThe NHS doesn't need to be handed over wholesale to be 'privatised'. In fact, this isn't what privateers want, as a bulk of NHS services simply aren't profitable (such as acute/A&E services).
They only want the low-risk, high-turnover, lucrative services to ensure a profit margin. This is why we are seeing more and more of these lucrative hospital services being moved out of hospitals into private-public clinics (or public surgeries hired out by the private provider).
Community services are also a prime target for the commercial sector, as are county run 'Social Services'. For this reason, the means-tested services if 'integrated' into the NHS could result in ALL NHS services becoming means tested. Similar to dentistry we have now, those who can pay will have to pay.
A prime example is that of Virgin Assura (now Virgin Care Ltd).
In 2010 Virgin had around 60 urgent and community care NHS service contracts, in 2017 however this had risen to well over FOUR-HUNDRED.
To prevent the 'rioting on the streets' scenario what the Tories have done is implemented a plan over a longer term whilst keeping the illusion that we still have a public NHS.
Although plans to dismantle the NHS have been in place for decades, the Tories themselves needed two consecutive terms of office to set in motion what would to be potentially irreversible decisions.
- change legislation to hand over public contracts to any private provider - done
- hand over the NHS budget to the private sector (CCGs)- done
1 and 2 above are the first term (5 years) the second term is to use the H&SC Act to introduce a new health insurance system.
Buying & Selling has no place in a Universal health service
GP - led Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) hold the bulk of the NHS budget - denial of care is now up and running. *Note GP's are private providers operating under an NHS General Medical contract, many were familiar with 'practice-based commissioning' from the Blair Labour era.
Out of interest, if you read back over history it was a Tory leader who said "if it was us (Tories) trying to do what new Labour are doing (with the NHS) there would be 𝐫𝐢𝐨𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐭𝐬.
Denial of care plays a large part in the proposed Integrated/Accountable Care partnership Organisations (ACOs). It comes under the title 'demand management'.
Each time an NHS contract is awarded to a non-NHS (private) provider, the NHS funding, and in many cases staffing, shrinks. The NHS in that case will have less and less funds to bid on and buy back the service.Many hospital trusts could become bankrupt (foundation trusts are prone to this). And over time, particularly over the 2nd term of office, the NHS will have been dismantled. The heist will then have been done.
■ 𝐍𝐨 𝐨𝐩𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧, 𝐧𝐨 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐮𝐥𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐧𝐨 𝐫𝐢𝐨𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐭𝐬.
We are now deep into the 2nd term of office.
We are now heading towards that American insurance based model of health the head of NHS England 'Simon Stevens' wants.
We either take to the streets, or watch as our NHS slips further away from our grasp....