Monday, November 14, 2011

Jon Williams on "Privatisation in the NHS"

The Lords are still discussing the Health and Social Care (privatisation) Bill and we find NHS hospitals are already being privatised, for Hinchingbrooke hospital a process started 2 years ago! The following two articles show lobbying by friends of the Tory party, Circle Health operating at a loss and stating in its prospectus "care may suffer".

Southern Cross is a very recent example of a private company "asset stripping" and then walking away leaving vulnerable people at risk, then letting the Government to sort out the mess. Andy Burnham (Shadow Health Secretary) states "the company by its own admission has doubts about continuity of service and consistency of service".

The opening up of the NHS to private companies seems to have started several years ago, perhaps immediately after the election of the present Government (or perhaps during New Labour's time in Government), certainly we need more activity from the Labour party to highlight these worrying developments and campaigning to stop this privatisation process.

"The first private company to take over an NHS hospital has admitted in a document seen by the Observer that patient care could suffer under its plans to expand its empire and seek profit from the health service."

"Circle, which is backed by City hedge funds run by Crispin Odey and Paul Ruddock, who have donated £790,000 to the Conservative party, admits in its share prospectus to having made losses since it was set up in 2004. The latest accounts show an operating loss of £34.97m as of December 2010."

"Two NHS trusts are considering private sector management options: the Royal National Orthopaedic hospital in London and the Whiston hospital (St Helens) on Merseyside."

"Circle Health's majority shareholder is Circle Holdings, where former Goldman banker Parsa personally holds about 5% of shares and is again chief executive. In terms of who pulls the strings, it is Parsa and his hedge fund pals: end of story."

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