Protect Our NHS has submitted the following question to Simon Stevens, NHS England boss, for a response in the Ask NHS England slot on the Today Programme, BBC Radio 4, 23rd October2
October 22, 2014 by Protect Our NHS
Protect Our NHS has submitted the following question to Simon Stevens, NHS England boss, for a response in the Ask NHS England slot on the Today Programme, BBC Radio 4, 23rd October
Question for Simon Stevens
Does Simon Stevens think that the expensive, private, insurance-based model of healthcare in the United States is really fit for our National Health Service – given that this is where we are heading?
Background Briefing Information
This question is being asked with the following points as key background information:
1. David Cameron’s recent commitment to maintain health spending in line with inflation would not be enough to avoid a funding gap of around £30 billion between now and 2021 because of ‘rising demand’ (a factor likely to be exacerbated by George Osborne’s planned £12 billion cut to the welfare budget). But the size of the budget is not the only issue. See http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/18/nhs-funding-gap-policy-vacuum-30-billion-jeremy-hunt
2. Privatisation leads to worse services that cost more: the NHS is one of the most efficient health services; the US system is the worst in the developed world. See http://www.theguardian.com/society/2011/aug/07/nhs-among-most-efficient-health-services, http://time.com/2888403/u-s-health-care-ranked-worst-in-the-developed-world/
3. There is no evidence that outsourcing to private sector companies is an effective or efficient way of looking after the nation’s health. Indeed the contrary. Consider the recent CQC report on Hinchinbrook Hospital; botched eye operations by Vanguard Healthcare outsourced by Musgrove Park Hospital (Taunton); Serco’s out-of-hours GP care in Cornwall heavily criticised last year for failing to meet national standards, falsifying data and a “bullying culture”; suspension of admissions to two of Care UK’s Suffolk care homes (and Care UK’s handling of an NHS contract handed to them in Doncaster where care workers are striking). Numerous references available on BBC site.
4. Look at the actual process to select bidders for health services for the elderly in Cambridgeshire which has cost £1 million http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-29439924
4. An underutilisation of nearly £8 million taxpayers’ money (from a block contract) at Care UK’s Emerson’s Green Independent Sector Treatment Centre, Bristol. https://protectournhs.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/how-private-firms-bleed-the-nhs-of-money-a-bristol-example/
4. The tax avoidance strategies of many health and social care companies should also be born in mind, the fact that NHS funds are being banked as profit rather than used for patients and that £1.5 billion worth of NHS contracts have gone to companies with links to the Conservative party. See attached and http://www.unitetheunion.org/news/tories-in-15-billion-nhs-sell-off-scandal/