Friday, June 8, 2012

Jon Williams on "Private Companies Within The NHS"

This is to reinforce my recent article, which can be found here.

There are many worrying examples of private companies making an entry into the NHS market. Over 200 plus Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) need assessing before they can be "Authorised" to operate budgets of many millions. Corporate take over from the very top - using one of the big City accountancy firms to review health organisations. So we have number crunchers discussing medical issues! This source states -

"Accountancy firm PwC has won a £3.4m contract to help with the assessment and authorisation of prospective clinical commissioning groups.

The NHS Commissioning Board, which awarded the contract, has the huge task of reviewing and making a decision about 212 CCGs before January next year. It will hold visits, panel sessions, and review survey results in each CCG area, along with large amounts of documentation."


United Health a US health company are already operating to their own set of rules in the NHS. A private company selling shares to The Practice PLC and one year later it closes a surgery without any notification to the general public and health authorities are not informed. See.

"NHS officials have admitted they were powerless to stop an American health giant from suddenly selling a Camden GP surgery to another private firm – and are seeking legal advice to stop it happening again."

"We are hearing anecdotal evidence from Camden Road patients of the fragmented care they received during the tenure of United Health and the Practice Plc."


Circle Health applies to run another NHS hospital after taking over Hinchingbrooke. The usual justification of staff and buildings will remain (for now) part of the NHS until they run into financial difficulties. Staff will be cut and buildings sold...reminds me of Southern Cross residential care homes operator debacle. The Torygraph has this story - does the Labour Party have a rebuttal to this story? Here.

"Ali Parsa, Circle’s chief executive, told The Telegraph that it wanted to bid for Nuneaton’s George Eliot hospital. If George Eliot was to find a franchise partner from the private sector, it would be the second such hospital to do so after Hinchingbrooke in Cambridgeshire, which last year finalised a decade-long franchise with Circle."

PS.  It seems Labour has a rebutttal function - as mentioned in a NEC May report. Apologies for using this info from Progress (A Party within a Party).

"Torsten Bell (Policy and Rebuttal) was putting the policy review on a different basis, engaging people to get ideas. He wanted a rebuttal function which was strong enough that the Tories would be afraid of our research as they were in the 1990s."


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