Spinwatch: The "Ninja" privatisers you've never heard of....
Published: Thursday, 22 October 2015 10:52
Written by Una
The NHS is being ripped apart by private health companies aided and abetted by the PR industry: The 'ninja' NHS privatisers you've never heard of... (March 2015) shines a light on one the most active teams: Strategic Projects Team, the architects of, among other projects, the Hitchingbrooke debacle:
...SPT appear not to have spent any time reflecting on the aborted privatisations of Hinchingbrooke and elsewhere, their costs, or consequences. As a speaker from SPT’s law firm and last night’s hosts, Wragge & Co, said: ‘Business doesn’t research things to death’. If it doesn’t work, bin it, move on.
SPT is a big fan of the world of business. It talks of creating a ‘customer-centric’ (not ‘patient-centric’) NHS. They call healthcare a ‘distressed purchase’.
But who are SPT, and who are they answerable to? The Team was originally set up by senior NHS officials in the East of England, a pioneer region when it comes to private sector involvement in the NHS (and coincidentally home to Andrew Lansley’s Cambridge constituency). They provided the 'air cover' for SPT’s controversial operations.
And what are the "Ninja warriors" eyeing up now? In March 2015 a FOI request (repeated several times"!) disgorged a "Commercial in Confidence" list of projects for "Integrated Care for Community Services" and "Reconfiguration of Services" mostly in the east and north of England. They are huge: two tenders for cancer and end-of-life care across Staffordshire for 10 years (announced March 2014) are worth £1.2 billions but the terms of the tender reveal a lack of accountability or redress and are amazingly vague! These projects are now dreamed up by people like Andrew MacPherson - a man with a background in Customer Services at Stena Line and National Express, not burdened with any management training in the National Health Service, yet initiating "change management" (mergers and acquisitions) in all the hospitals groups he has approached?!?!
The practitioners of Public Relations are very effective in promoting their clients' interests AND at keeping their own names and the consultancies for which they work out of the public eye.
"Spinwatch" is the website of Public Interest Investigations, a group of journalists who have been tracking the PR industry since 2005. They describe their work:
Spinwatch investigates the way that the public relations (PR) industry and corporate and government propaganda distort public debate and undermine democracy. The PR and lobbying industry in the UK is the second biggest in the world, worth £7.5 billion. As the go-to organisation for information on this field, we routinely track PR and lobbying firms and corporate front groups, exposing their spin and deception.