A question after the Public board meeting of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust today revealed that McKinsey, view the management consultants, try are paying for Dr Tracey Batten, there 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."
The identity of the donor is a scandal.
McKinsey has been working behind the scenes for two decades as "advisor" to both NHS directors and private health providers, charging huge fees to both ("The firm that hijacked the NHS: MoS investigation reveals extraordinary extent of international management consultant's role in Lansley's health reforms"; Red Pepper's report: "McKinsey's unhealthy profits").
The American healthcare model is acknowledged to be worse and more expensive than most in the western world. A US-based healthcare fund, the Commonwealth Fund's 2104 report compared the healthcare systems in 12 leading economies and found that, as in previous years, the UK was at the top and the US was at the bottom of the list. It is called: "Mirror, mirror on the wall - 2014 update: how the US health care system compares internationally".
The report analysed the health service for the population as a whole in 12 advanced nations on the following criteria: quality (including effective care), access, efficiency (of spending), equity and healthy lives. The UK came out on top, followed by Switzerland. France is at no 9. All the figures relate to 2012/2013, the latest year for full international comparison. It remains to be seen what the impact of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (which imposed a duty on CCGs to consider "any qualified provider" - many private providers vs one NHS body - to bid for NHS contracts) will have on the system.
McKinsey is in the handful of large international accountancy firms and management consultants who have consistently pushed the privatization agenda to undermine the unified service and not-for-profit ethos of previously integrated public services, such as British Rail, British Gas and many other industries, now all foreign- and privately-owned.
With a budget of £110Bn per annum the NHS is a rich prize for the privateers. See the film "Sell-off - The Full NHS Movie"
The trip to the USA has been organised, but not paid for, by McKinsey. The cost of £120,000 is being met by the CCGs of NW London.