Figures released today by the governments own Care Quality Commission reveal the extent of the mess caused by 6 years of drastic cuts, shortages of staff, the rapid decline in hospital bed numbers, A&E's in complete meltdown, and privatisation not just quietly sneaking in through the back door but more steamrolling its way through the front door, with billions and billions of pounds of contracts making their way to the private sector.
For example: Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Care won a £700m contract to deliver 200 types of NHS and social care services to more than 200,000 people in Bath and north-east Somerset, sparking renewed fears about private health firms expanding their role in the provision of publicly funded health services.
Yes, New Labour simply got the ball rolling for the Tories. I wont ever argue that point. They got it massively wrong. But this is privatisation with a turbo attached. The scale and pace of private companies’ involvement in the NHS has accelerated rapidly following the introduction of the Health and Social Care Act . After the introduction of the HSC Act, the privatisation list expanded to include GP surgeries and Out of Hours services, urgent care and minor injury units, diagnostic services, maternity care, elective (non-emergency) surgery, community nursing and a range of other community services such as physiotherapy, ambulance services, and prison health. Private companies also became involved in running entire hospitals, including A&E departments.
This is what you get when you elect a Conservative government.
Private sector involvement in the NHS is spreading. And who actually benefits? The patients? Just last year it was reported that there had been a record rise in NHS dissatisfaction levels. The patients aren't benefiting from privatisation. We have seen damning images of pensioners waiting on trolleys in hospital storerooms, infants sleeping on floors in corridors, and the blame for this absolute disaster has to be directed towards Jeremy Hunt and Theresa May.
The only beneficiaries will be the shareholders. The links between private health firms and the Tory Party are somewhat eye watering. Care UK, another winner in a £780million deal, was previously slammed by the Care Quality Commission for the quality of care at two nursing homes it runs in Suffolk. John Nash, a former chairman of Care UK, has, with his wife donated almost £300,000 to the Tory party and was given a peerage by David Cameron.
Google is a powerful tool. This detailed list reveals healthcare links with MPs and Lords. I'm sure I'm not the only one that can see what is going on here. At one point, 1 in 5 Coalition MPs had some sort of links to private health firms.
So we are now in a position where 8 out of hospitals are NO LONGER SAFE. I could be working this out completely wrong. Private sector involvement has increased rapidly, standards have declined rapidly. I'm putting 2 + 2 together, and I think I am coming up with 4.
The Tories were bankrolled by private health in Opposition as they drew up secret plans to put market forces at the heart of the NHS. Once in Government, MPs and peers with links to private health voted it through without a mandate from the public. The mess they have caused is becoming clearer as each set of figures are released.
This simply can't go on. Your local hospital is staffed by brilliant people. They are under unprecedented levels of pressure and deserve a government that will put their (our) money where their mouth is. I think we all know this will never happen under this administration.
A united Opposition is needed now more than ever.