Monday, 16 May 2011

Fat Cat slips out of the NHS bag

Ooops! Just as the three month hiatus in NHS reform draws to a close, a Tory Adviser gives the game away. As usual, there seems to be more honest speaking done when these spokesblokes think they are a long way from home. 
“Mark Britnell, who was appointed to a "kitchen cabinet" advising the prime minister on reforming the NHS, told a conference of executives from the private sector that future reforms would show "no mercy" to the NHS and offer a "big opportunity" to the for-profit sector.”
“Britnell, a former director of commissioning for the NHS, who is now head of health at the accountancy giant KPMG, was invited to join a group of senior health policy experts, described by the respected Health Studies Journal as a "kitchen cabinet", in Downing Street earlier this month. The group, which includes former NHS executives and the former Department of Health permanent secretary Lord Crisp, was assembled by Cameron's new special adviser on health, Paul Bate.”
“In unguarded comments at a conference in New York organised by the private equity company Apax, Britnell claimed that the next two years in the UK would provide a "big opportunity" for the for-profit sector, and that the NHS would ultimately end up as a financier of care similar to an insurance company rather than a provider of hospitals and staff.”
“According to a glossy brochure summarising the conference held last October, Britnell told his audience: "GPs will have to aggregate purchasing power and there will be a big opportunity for those companies that can facilitate this process … In future, the NHS will be a state insurance provider, not a state deliverer." He added: "The NHS will be shown no mercy and the best time to take advantage of this will be in the next couple of years." (my emphasis) Writing in the Health Studies Journal, Britnell also suggested that the NHS would be better served by breaking with the mantra that all services should be free at the point of delivery by allowing co-payment, where patients share the costs of care and drugs.” Observer 15/5/11

“No top down reform of the NHS” (Tory Manifesto) turns out to be a bigger lie than the LibDems Tuition fees pledge. They should suffer similar opprobrium. The Tories are liars and should be shown ‘no mercy!’

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