WHAT’S HAPPENING WITHIN THE NHS
24th APRIL 2015
According to The Financial Times in 2013/2014. £18.3 billion of the NHS work was made available for tender, with 67% of contracts awarded to non-NHS providers, a 14% increase on a year earlier.
This is happening locally too, with NHS contracts tendered out and some private services already in place, including Physiotherapy, Wheelchair Services, Adult Audiology, Elective Services eg Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) and Orthopaedic procedures, GP Out of Hours and Patient Transport Services all being delivered by private providers. Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Learning Disabilities Services are also ‘Out to Tender’.
The NHS is as efficient as any large, complex organisation dealing with multiple symptom health problems can be. Based on Information from 2011, published in 2014, it was more efficient than all other 10 countries in the study, including France and Germany (the U.S. came bottom) as evidenced by the Commonwealth Fund Comparative Reports over many years. (1)
Private firms are allowed to use the NHS logo so the public are kept in the dark about who is providing their health services e.g, Serco, BMI Healthcare and Virgin Care now run over 200 ‘NHS’ services, including many GP surgeries.
Dr Mark Porter (British Medical Association) says ‘these figures show the extent of creeping privatisation in the NHS. Enforcing competition has not only led to services being fragmented…but has also diverted vital funding away from frontline services to costly, complicated tendering processes.’
A conservative estimate of the bureaucratic cost of marketing process I £4.5 billion per year. This could fund the annual £2b NHS shortfall and free critical social care for everyone. (2)
Over 70 MP’s and 140 members of the House of Lords have been listed with links to private healthcare companies (3). Their to impartial when deciding the future of the NHS is surely questionable.
Only legislation can reinstate the NHS. The NHS Reinstatement Bill to restore a ‘National’ Health Service, has been introduced to parliament. Whether it succeeds may depend on the outcome of this Election, Professor Allyson Pollock warns that we have little time left to reinstate the NHS. If we DON’T ACT, by 2020 the NHS as we know it will not exist (4).
- International Business Times – ‘NHS Provides the ‘Best Healthcare in World’
- Centre for Health and Public Interest, BBC, June 2014
- Social Investigations: In-depth research on political matters of social interest