The Big Picture has featured five posts this week on the NHS including the sale of the blood transfusion service & cancer research.
This post continues that theme looking first at Jeremy Hunt’s background which may help to explain why he is now the Health Secretary & no it is not for the right reasons.
This is followed by descriptions of, and links to, three articles detailing other changes that might be in the pipeline.
So first to Jeremy Hunt – the Health Secretary with no medical background at all it turns out that he actually does have some connections with healthcare through his cousin Virginia Bottomley currently sitting in the Lords as Baroness Nettlestone who used to be the Minister for Health back in the day. Jeremy took over his cousins safe parliamentary seat in South West Surrey and has now followed in her health footsteps as well. Although it must be a pure coincidence Baroness Nettlestone currently lobbies on behalf of the private health sector and is a director of Bupa. There is a lot more to this tangled web (including a possible link between Hotcourses and Virginia Bottomley) which was the source of this update that you can read here at: A diary of deception and distortion.
So moving on to the continued sale of of the NHS this is being conducted in a quiet, piecemeal way such that it is difficult to grasp what is happening on a national basis. As people we become concerned for ourselves and our own services and focus on what is happening locally which is to the benefit of the government and private healthcare companies from a national perspective because it permits the creep of privatisation. Three examples of which are described below:
HUNT PLANNING MASSIVE NEW WAVE OF NHS ATTACKS, TELEGRAPH COLLUDES. In this article SK Walker describes how the Hunt is softening us up for the next round of cuts and changes to NHS structures and how the Daily Telegraph is publishing articles that help him to achieve this. The end result according to SK Walker is the centralisation of resources in fewer units and the transfer of more resources to the Private Healthcare sector.
The NHS for the people of North Yorkshire is at its deathbed. In this article Dr Eoin Clarke describes a memo from a recent primary Healthcare trust meeting which outlines cuts in North Yorkshire which if implemented across the UK would save over 7 Billion pounds – but these savings are in addition to the 20 Billion that the NHS have already been asked to make and so are in fact unnecessary The proposed cuts include: planning to close the opening hours of minor injury units, cutting the availability of certain drugs, Mental health services,health visitor numbers, the reduction of hospital beds and partial closure of community hospitals. Routine follow up appointments are also under threat. In addition there is a proposal to privatise patient transport.
Jeremy Hunt hands G4S a £13,000,000 NHS Contract even though they made a balls of the Olympics. This article also by Dr Eoin Clarke describes how Jeremy Hunt has given G4S a 13 million pound contract to run patient services for Great Yarmouth. Is this why he played down the G4S Olympics fiasco?
So there we have it, one weeks news relating to the NHS and the Governments reform agenda.
This does not make reassuring reading for me I happen to believe that the NHS is one of the great strengths of the UK – a service I do not mind paying my taxes for. I do not want to pay for services provided by the Private National Health Service whereby a percentage of my tax contributions will go to form part of the profits of the private companies involved.