Petitioning Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group: Keep NHS services out of the hands of the private sector

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December 10, 2013 by Protect Our NHS

Please sign our online petition at https://www.change.org/petitions/bristol-clinical-commissioning-group-keep-nhs-services-out-of-the-hands-of-the-private-sector.

We call on Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to keep NHS services out of the hands of the private sector. This strategy should apply now, for example, when deciding which organisation should be given the contract for providing Bristol mental health services. In future, we ask you to follow the example of Western Cheshire CCG who voted unanimously on 18 July not to put community services out to tender (http://tinyurl.com/q9t23cn).

The CCG should ensure the provision of a comprehensive, integrated, cost effective, and not for profit NHS providing high quality services, free at the point of delivery and not subject to EU competition law.

Five reasons why breaking up and privatising the NHS is bad for our health

1. Private companies exist to make profits for their shareholders and pay their directors large salaries. The only way they can do this from healthcare is by cutting services and/or staff, and/or charging patients. Our public money – from taxation – will drain out of the NHS to rich shareholders instead of being spent on services.

2. Fragmenting the NHS – putting each service out to tender, and monitoring each contract – is hugely expensive. In the USA, where this system already exists, $1 in every $3 is spent on administration. NHS money spent on management means less to spend on services.

3. If your health problem is complex, your treatment could be provided by a patchwork of NHS and privately run services. The risk is that your care is poorly co-ordinated, or disrupted because a contract is not renewed. Remember how Southern Cross dumped its contract for elderly people’s homes – the directors made a packet and homes faced emergency closure.

4. Until now NHS hospitals could subsidise the cost of essential but expensive to- run services (such as Accident and Emergency) with income from less costly, routine work (like planned surgery). But now private companies can cherry pick the less complex and more profitable work, leaving NHS hospitals with smaller budgets and all the most difficult work to do.

5. Our NHS plays a major role in training and updating staff and maintaining standards. It also has a national pay scale to protect staff from super-exploitation. When we are treated within the NHS we can depend on the grade and training of those caring for us. If problems arise there are set procedure for putting things right. This may not always be perfect but private companies have no expertise in training staff and much less accountability.

Protect our NHS (https://protectournhs.wordpress.com) is a local group, unaligned to any political party. We are calling on the government and our local NHS decision makers to spend money on improving our NHS services – not on destroying them!

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Protect our NHS Meetings are held on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays each month at 7.30pm. Come along to the YHA, Narrow Quay, Bristol, BS1 4QA ALL WELCOME

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“That’s the standard technique of privatization: defund, make sure things don’t work, people get angry, you hand it over to private capital.” Noam Chomsky

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