• Hugely successful demonstration by NHS campaigners in central London on 4th March 2017

    They came from all over the country united in their concern for the present state of the NHS and their fears for its future. Different sources estimate attendance from "tens of thousands" to 250,000.

    Three women dress in white medical suits and hold placards reading 'Slash Trash Privatise', 'Don't be a Silent Witness' and 'Death Closer to Home' near Russel Square today. The protesters are set to be rallied by Bernie Sanders's brother

    From "Save Our Services Cumbria" (Whitehaven Hospital), to "Hands off Huddersfield Royal Infirmary", to "Calderdale 999Call for the NHS" (above), to "Defend our NHS York", to "Bristol Protect our NHS", to "Sussex Defend the NHS", all were protesting about planned or actual A&E, acute units or whole hospitals closures. Health Campaigns Together  and the People's Assembly had done a superb job calling together dozens of NHS campaign groups and organizing the biggest NHS demonstration in central London in decades.

  • STPs will let in more private sector companies as the NHS is stripped of funds



    Letter to the Guardian from John Furse and others, 38 Degrees Chelsea and Fulham

    We’re disturbed by David Babbs’s article (Politicians have failed the NHS. We need people power to save it, 26 August). The 38 Degrees report on NHS “Sustainability and Transformation Plans” to which he refers doesn’t point to what’s behind NHS England’s carrot-and-stick strategy.

    By offering additional funding for NHS commissioners who satisfactorily reduce their deficits and by threatening punitive “special measures” for those who don’t, the STPs will serve private sector interests. NHS cuts to reduce deficits will mean the NHS, and the public, having to seek more services from the private sector. More public money will benefit private companies whose services cost far more than a publicly funded, publicly run NHS. Less accessible services and longer waiting times will push the public to pay for private health insurance.

    Babbs omits to mention US influence in NHS restructuring, which Jeremy Hunt has acknowledged. Major US consultancies and healthcare corporations like McKinsey and UnitedHealth are heavily involved. But he confirms that 38 Degrees commissioned Incisive Health, lobbyists for Virgin Healthcare and the privatisers’ NHS Partners Network, to produce its crowdfunded report. It’s not surprising it glosses over what the STPs prefigure – the replacement of an NHS once recognised as world leading in cost-effective public healthcare by a privatised system whose providers’ financial interests will have undue sway. As members of 38 Degrees, we think it’s vital that it isn’t seen as an NHS privatisers’ tool.

    John Furse,Barbara Beese, Julia Campbell, Verite Reily Collins, Jim Grealy, Merril Hammer, Karl Hevera, Ian Irvine, Tina Mackenzie, Craig Nicol, John Ralph, Linda Robinson, Teresa Schaefer, Heinz Schumi, Margaret Spector, Alexandra Veres, Martin Woodford
    38 Degrees Chelsea and Fulham Group

  • McKinsey pays Imperial CEO to visit USA's "integrated care model"

    A question after the Public board meeting of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust today revealed that McKinsey, the management consultants, are paying for Dr Tracey Batten, the CEO, to take a one-week trip to Boston and the US east coast starting this Saturday to learn about the US version of "integrated care". This comes as the Trust is on a knife-edge with clinical performance indicators getting worse, e.g. A&E 4 hours-waiting times for October way below the target (80% instead of 95%), and the accounts only balancing once payments for research in the Diamond project (with UCL and Guys & St Thomas) are booked, an outcome which is still in doubt.

    Board papers said: "North West London CCG are organising an international integrated care study tour from 29th November to 6th December to the US which will be attended by the CEO. Visits in Boston, New York, Baltimore and Richmond will be to innovative organisations who are renowned for excellent community care, integrated care and partnership models. Invitees to the tour include chief executives from acute and community providers and commissioners in the North West London sector."

  • US giant United Health leads firms seeking £1bn worth of NHS contracts: preparing for "galloping" privatisation "The Observer" 30th August 2014

    Calls for greater disclosure on NHS chiefs' meetings with private US health insurer

    Critics warn of more privatisation as UnitedHealth leads firms seeking £1bn worth of contracts
    UnitedHealth used to employ Simon Stevens, above, NHS England’s chief executive.

    A handful of consultancy firms and a health insurance giant bidding for NHS contracts have been operating a discreet forum at which they receive regular briefings from senior health service managers charged with ushering in the new era of competition among its providers. The revelation has raised fears that the NHS is falling victim to a land grab by a few powerful business interests.

    Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the campaign group Spinwatch shine a light on the workings of an obscure group whose existence and limited membership has alarmed campaigners who want the NHS to remain public.