The Privatised NHS 140


The independence campaign in Scotland has re-established the reality of public debate and a genuine political community.  Through old fashioned meetings and face to face conversation, combined with social media, people are hearing a narrative which is blocked by the gatekeepers of the mainstream media.  Philipa Whitford, a surgeon, here talks about Labour Tories, Tory Tories and Liberal Tories combining to destroy the very principles of the NHS. You don’t get to hear this on the BBC.

You can skip the first minute, but after that I suggest you listen to every word, very carefully.

Hat tip to Munguin’s Republic

I might have worked out how to post my recent podcast interview by Michael Greenwell


140 thoughts on “The Privatised NHS

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  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    “Someone mentioned conditions for EU membership. Here’s one: all EU member states are obliged to guarantee the first £85,000 (€100,000) in each personal bank account.

    The government of an independent Scotland would have to sort this out (to the satisfaction of the ratings agencies), otherwise they wouldn’t be allowed in to the EU. And you can’t leave it until after you join: the protection must be there from the moment you join.”
    ____________________

    Yes, that’s part of the “acquis communautaire” which the Scottish govt would have to accept if it wanted to rejoin to EU.

    Good post (especially the third from last para). Keep them coming, it’s good to drill facts into the cranium of the England-haters.

  • Ba'al Zevul (The Sun Has Got His Hat On)

    Potato – A crock? Please supply checkable sources. Otherwise this is no more than your opinion, and the extent of your qualifications to hold that opinion is unknown.

    This informed opinion – http://www.ifs.org.uk/comms/r88.pdf – is by no means overoptimistic, but highlights the real problem, and it is one which the Yes campaign has not yet addressed:

    In most probable scenarios …Scottish debt would rise as a share of national income every year, in the absence of further policy action. The fiscal pressures facing an independent Scotland would therefore be more immediately pressing than those facing the UK as a whole.

    Given this, the Scottish government should be clear now about the fiscal
    challenges that could be faced on independence. This is important for any
    government, especially those that are reliant on external creditors. However, it
    would be particularly important for a newly independent government of Scotland without an established reputation for fiscal management. Scotland would therefore be likely to reap significant rewards from putting in place fiscal rules and introducing an independent fiscal council that could reassure potential investors that the Scottish
    government was committed to prudent management of the public finances.

    Thus far, the set of policies that the current Scottish government has suggested for an independent Scotland would serve to increase public borrowing, not reduce it. An independent Scotland would have the freedom to make its own decisions about spending priorities and the appropriate design of the tax system, but it would be constrained by the necessity to deliver a significant cut in spending and/or increase in tax revenues in order to put its public finances in a sustainable long-run position.

    Note, however, Appendix B. Note also that public borrowing is still a major feature of the UK economy, and that fiscal restraint rather than increased investment in productive enterprise is still the panacea for what ails Western economies (as this approach enables the creation of imaginary wealth for the usual suspects)

    Re. Iceland, do please note that the UK’s debt crisis, which has yet to be resolved as far as the man in the street is concerned, however happy the estate agents and vampire hedge funds are becoming, has its roots in the willingness of one government to hand over regulation of the poachers to the poachers, and its successor’s willingness to allow the banks to further devalue the currency in order to recoup the losses for which they alone were responsible. We are still borrowing like sailors on shore leave, issuing bonds against a very uncertain future, and rely on exactly the same combination of Ponzi and three-card trick schemes to stay afloat which the No campaign (accidentally rightly) deplores when considering what an independent Scotland might have to do.

  • Mary

    Ba’al The thought of BLiar in pyjamas is just too much.

    I see that Sir Richard Evans late of BAE is down to attend the bash in Kazakhstan. From his Wiki page

    Meetings and business relations
    Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev appointed Richard Evans, the former chief executive of BAE Systems, head of Samruk, a state-owned holding company that controls five Kazakh companies, on 23 October 2006.

    He was also involved in the BAE bribery scandal in BLiar’s time.

    ‘Also, the role of Sir Dick Evans, the BAE chairman at the time, in winning the Al-Yamamah arms deal should not be underestimated. It is believed by some that he managed to secure the deal by his ability to swallow sheep’s eyeballs as though they were cocktail canapes at banquets, thus impressing his Middle East clients.’ Nice.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Yamamah_arms_deal

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    Baaa’aaal

    “Potato – A crock? Please supply checkable sources. Otherwise this is no more than your opinion, and the extent of your qualifications to hold that opinion is unknown.”
    ___________________

    Well, the first para of Potato’s post at 13h45 is correct, as I’ve already pointed out. Brush up a little on the EU and you’ll see for yourself.

    And the substance of his subsequent post is a quotation from Standard and Poors.

    *************

    What, by the way, is the extent of YOUR qualifications? On this and anything else for that matter? I think we should be told. 🙂

    ************

    PS – off work today?

  • Mary

    N_ Would you say that the other banks are any worse or better than Santander for excessive mortgage lending? I was thinking of opening an account where you get interest on balances and cash back on utility payments etc. 🙂

  • Mary

    Back to the NHS. My friend’s motor neurone disease has advanced and she can no longer walk even with a frame. A wheelchair will arrive in SIX weeks’ time. For goodness’ sake. Rise up people and get these Tories out.

    Miliband just might save some of it as he has promised but don’t bet on it.

    The coalition is cracking up, viz Gove and Laws.

    What job is Cleggover lining up for himself in the EU? He’s had it in this country. If he does get an EU job, he will be returning to home base.

    The College of Europe
    https://www.coleurope.eu/website/study/ma-european-political-and-administrative-studies

    Prominent graduates of the Department include:
    Helle THORNING-SCHMIDT, Prime Minister, Denmark
    Nicholas CLEGG, Leader of the UK Liberal Democratic Party
    Josef JOFFE, Editor and Publisher of Die Zeit, a leading German newspaper
    Alexander STUBB, Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade of Finland
    Helen WALLACE, Centennial Professor, London School of Economics and Political Science
    Per WIMMER, Owner of Wimmer Financial

  • Mary

    Perhaps we could have the tr—‘s age, gender if known, previous and current occupations, country of residence, etc etc.

    What a nerve to question others.

    PS Why all the little French phrases. Is that a relic of time in the FCO?

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    Mary

    “What a nerve to question others”

    ________________________

    You mean like Mr Goss asking me of I was a freemason?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “A wheelchair will arrive in SIX weeks’ time.”

    _____________________

    And 30 years ago, under the wonderful “our NHS” , it would have taken twice as long.

    You have a short and selective memory.

  • Geoffrey

    If Scotland does win it’s independence,and contrary to many people’s opinions here,the evil financial markets may impose financial discipline on the Scots.
    You may well find that they will have to dramatically reduce government expenditure,ie health,social security payments,etc,etc.
    The result could be an England full of whining Scots.

  • Mary

    The tr— says: And 30 years ago, under the wonderful “our NHS” , it would have taken twice as long
    You have a short and selective memory.

    As usual completely wrong as I know from personal experience when caring for my disabled mother for ten years in the 80s. The kindly GP came to the house, sat with her and shared a cup of tea. Nurses would come in and bathe her if I was incapacitated and aids were easily available. My friend’s care is being doled by Branson’s outfit. Cost is all.

    When I fractured my wrist in 2011, pre Branson, I had a daily visit from NHS care workers for several weeks to help me wash and dress.

    Just hope that you don’t become ill or have insufficient means to pay for your healthcare. It is estimated that before a cap for state help with the cost of care comes in, a person will have had to have spent £140,000. Care homes round here are costing nearly £1,000 a week now and that does not include nursing. You know nothing and are as extremely irritating as a flea bite.

    I have a long and excellent memory, I will not be replying further.

    Planned cap on social care costs ‘will help few people’
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-27363896

  • Mary

    104 years ago, Dorothy Hodgkin was born, famous for her work on X Ray crystallography.

    Dorothy Mary Hodgkin, OM, FRS (12 May 1910 – 29 July 1994), née Crowfoot, was a British biochemist, credited with the development of protein crystallography. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1964.

    She advanced the technique of X-ray crystallography, a method used to determine the three-dimensional structures of biomolecules. Among her most influential discoveries are the confirmation of the structure of penicillin that Ernst Boris Chain and Edward Abraham had previously surmised, and then the structure of vitamin B12, for which she became the third woman to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

    In 1969, after 35 years of work and five years after winning the Nobel Prize, Hodgkin was able to decipher the structure of insulin. X-ray crystallography became a widely used tool and was critical in later determining the structures of many biological molecules where knowledge of structure is critical to an understanding of function. She is regarded as one of the pioneer scientists in the field of X-ray crystallography studies of biomolecules. Hodgkin published as Dorothy Crowfoot until 1949, when she was persuaded by Hans Clarke’s secretary to use her married name on her chapter in The Chemistry of Penicillin. Thereafter she always published as Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Hodgkin

    There is a Thatcher connection within and also one to Ghana where her husband lived intermittently and also worked for Nkrumah.

  • N_

    You are absolutely right, Mary. And as well as Branson and the pharmaceutical and equipment suppliers who dictate what happens in hospitals and GPs’ surgeries, there has also been an explosion of all sorts of lesser rip-off conman creeps who supply various healthcare services (or ‘services’) to the dream target of many breeds of conman (not just solicitors) – institutionalised senior citizens.

    I believe one of the creeps who ran ‘Student Finance England’ (they don’t last long in that job) had a background in that kind of scam. Mobility vehicles with lip-licking insurance contracts attached, if I recall.

    Many people are offered e.g. wheelchairs for several thousand pounds and then when they die, or don’t need them any more, the scumbag conmen will suck their teeth and offer to buy them back for £50, even if they only flogged them, reconditioned, a few weeks before.

    This is the uber-Thatcherite-Blairite ‘enterprise’ ‘culture’ in which we live. And if there is to be any future worth wanting, this is what peoples must criticise with increasing clarity, profundity, anger and the absolute non-negotiable contempt which every damned aspect of it deserves.

  • N_

    N_ Would you say that the other banks are any worse or better than Santander for excessive mortgage lending? I was thinking of opening an account where you get interest on balances and cash back on utility payments etc.

    Santander certainly seem to stick out from the other high street banks in how they aim their advertising to poorer groups in the population, encouraging people in those groups to borrow borrow borrow so they can spend spend spend. They are the biggest bank in the eurozone, owned through Spain – and they are huge by market capitalisation, so I think we are dealing with a company that has gone hell for leather, and which continutes to do so, given that a retail bank’s main assets are people’s debts. If I had to bet on which one will blow up first, it would be Santander – but we don’t know what liabilities they and the others have taken on behind the scenes, so I suppose it could be any of them.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    Mary

    “The kindly GP came to the house, sat with her and shared a cup of tea.”
    ______________

    It would be unwarranted of me to dispute that bit of anecdotal evidence. Let us assume for the sake of argument that the anecdote has general validity.

    I understand from people who use the NHS that nowadays you get 10 minutes in the GP’s surgery and do not usually get the same GP from visit to visit.

    But let’s be concrete : how would you explain this difference (which indicates at first sight a deterioration in service)? What are its causes? And how would you tie it in to what you claim is the “creeping privatisation” of the NHS?

    (Your answer(s) will indicate whether you are capable of doing more than repeating slogans)

  • Ben-LA PACQUTE LO ES TODO

    More like a straw Burning Man, Mary, in search of a brain.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    Habbabkuk asks Mary:

    “But let’s be concrete : how would you explain this difference (which indicates at first sight a deterioration in service)? What are its causes? And how would you tie it in to what you claim is the “creeping privatisation” of the NHS?”

    and Mary, the “expert” on and committed champion of the NHS, answers thus:

    “The tin man (that’s the one without any heart) has spoken.”

    I leave readers to draw their own conclusions.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    “More like a straw Burning Man, Mary, in search of a brain.”
    __________________

    And in buzzes the Californian Gadfly…bring out the spray!

  • BrianFujisan

    Rob

    11 May, 2014 – 5:24 pm

    Thank you for that, and also for your first reply Re JR’s mega crafts…

    Hadn’t heard of the shipais.com site…I Got interested recently in marine traffic cos a couple of years ago I was tracking the Ferry from Shetland to Aberdeen with family and grand children on board… found it fascinating…

    Again Rob, Cheers for explaining that some eejits possibly regard secrecy above others safety…and can at will turn off the AIS.. i had thought that maritime law was VERY strick for ALL… Big or Small…

    I hear that the Oban Surrounding Waters are very popular with rich n famous… since there is no tabloids lurking around…and there are a few wee secret watering / eating joints that only boating people know of / can get to…. ( Sail to )

    Talking of Oban..i’ll be up there on Saturday, on my way to Seil island… AND The Atlantic… if ( H – II ) is still out in the Bay i grab a foto or two for ya… As those over at Alcanon’s Squonk Bolg will confirm …i like a bit of photography. 🙂

  • Ba'al Zevul (Oh My Ears And Whiskers)

    This is the uber-Thatcherite-Blairite ‘enterprise’ ‘culture’ in which we live. And if there is to be any future worth wanting, this is what peoples must criticise with increasing clarity, profundity, anger and the absolute non-negotiable contempt which every damned aspect of it deserves.

    Yes. Contempt is good; also ridicule. The senseless accumulation of wealth far in excess of your needs solely in order to…display your wealth, is something which needs serious scorn.

    OTOH, it’s one reason why there may be no ‘whining Scotsmen’ in England, post-independence. As England may by then have introduced universal zero-hours contracts, sold the remainder of the NHS to the healthcare providers whose interests are so loyally served by a number of MP’s, abolished taxation altogether for earners of £1M and above, and instituted labour camps for anyone who can’t find work (a) stacking shelves or (b) selling derivatives – the only two occupations left. Which policy, regardless of any perceived justification by the likes of Ayn Rand, is now firmly established as an article of faith by the current regime. Is regime too strong a word? I think not, now.

  • Mary

    ‘Back in March, nearly 150,000 38 Degrees members added their names to a petition to Simon Stevens, the new head of NHS England. We called on him to make the NHS more transparent. [1] Now he’s responded. And it’s promising!

    The petition called for NHS England to be more open about how decisions about our NHS are made. Especially when it comes to contracts with private companies.

    In a statement, Simon’s said he’s committed to transparency. And he’s agreed to publish, for the first time, top NHS bosses’ meetings with private companies. [2] That’s a big step in the right direction. It means we can call out meetings that look dodgy and see – a little more clearly – who’s really influencing NHS policy.

    But we still don’t know how his commitments will work in practice. And he hasn’t responded at all to our call not to pay corporate lobbyists to write government policy. Putting our points to him face-to-face could be just what we need to find out where he stands – and give us the chance to tell him how he can protect our NHS.

    Can you email him today to invite him to meet with 38 Degrees members? The more emails he gets from us, the more likely he is to respond! Please click the link to send him an email. There’s no suggested text, but there are plenty of tips and talking points:
    https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/email-simon-stevens

    NHS England are front-page news today for another reason – an emerging expenses scandal. [3] So far, they’ve responded by announcing a clampdown on lavish spending, alongside setting a new goal for the whole organisation: “Thinking like a patient, and acting like a taxpayer”.’

    NOTES
    [1] 38 Degrees: NHS England: Be more transparent:
    https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/NHS-lobbying-transparency
    [2] Here’s Simon Stevens’ full statement, from the CEO’s report in the May board papers:
    “NHS England has set new standards for openness and transparency in all of its operations, compared with what went before. And I’ve set myself and our organisation the goal in everything we do of ‘thinking like a patient, and acting like a taxpayer’. We meet as a board in public, are publicly set goals through a democratically-accountable Mandate, and maintain and publish declarations of interest for all Non-Executive and Executive Directors. NHS England already publishes information on expenses incurred by national directors and we hold a register of gifts and hospitality received. One additional transparency step we will now take – similar to the practices of government departments – is to routinely publish information on the chief executive’s and executive directors’ business meetings with external non-public sector organisations.”
    You can read the whole report here:
    http://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/item3-board-0514-1.pdf
    [3] The Telegraph: NHS chiefs’ expenses: ‘astounding’ spending exposed:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/nhs/10826167/NHS-chiefs-expenses-astounding-spending-exposed.html

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    Mary

    I’m pleased to see that you appear to be changing your mind about Simon Stevens, because you seemed rather negative about him when you commented at 13h59 on 9 May.

    I would advise fewer knee-jerk reactions.

  • Mary

    Deliberate twisting there. That is an e-mail from 38 Degrees. I would think that was obvious to even the simplest of people.

    SS is newly arrived from United Health and has been appointed for one purpose – to privatise the NHS.

    For information for those who are uninformed.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Stevens_(civil_servant)

    Simon Stevens Appointed Executive Vice President UnitedHealth Group to Lead Enterprise-Wide Health Care Reform Engagement; Will Also Direct International Businesses and Global Expansion
    http://www.unitedhealthgroup.com/newsroom/articles/news/unitedhealth%20group/2009/0122stevens.aspx?

    UnitedHealth Group Announces Formation of New European Health Care Company
    •Richard Smith named chief executive officer
    •Simon Stevens named president

    MINNEAPOLIS (May. 20, 2004) —
    UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) announced today that it has established a new European company, led by a British management team, to serve European public health systems. The new company’s mission is to support public health systems in their efforts to improve patient care. UnitedHealth Group is already successfully working on pilot programs with the National Health Service in the United Kingdom. Its European management team will include leading health care experts from the United Kingdom.

    Working in partnership with health agencies, clinicians and patients, the new company will develop innovative tools and services to support the provision of care. These services would include the Evercare program, currently piloted with the NHS, to identify chronically and seriously ill patients at risk of hospital admission and provide the care necessary to prevent the need for a hospital stay, as well as a range of other services.

    The company’s approach will enable a better use of health service resources and deliver a more flexible care program for patients. UnitedHealth Group also announced today the new company’s management team:
    •Richard Smith will be chief executive officer. He has been editor of the BMJ and chief executive officer of the BMJ Publishing Group for 13 years.
    •Simon Stevens, currently the Prime Minister’s health policy advisor, will be the company’s president. He will also become a vice president of UnitedHealth Group, working with its global clients, and contributing to its work with the U .S . government.
    /..
    http://www.unitedhealthgroup.com/newsroom/articles/news/unitedhealth%20group/2004/0520neweuropeanhealthcarecompany.aspx?

    Work it out. It’s not difficult.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    Mary

    You still haven’t answered the question I asked you, viz.

    “how would you explain this difference (which indicates at first sight a deterioration in service)? What are its causes? And how would you tie it in to what you claim is the “creeping privatisation” of the NHS?”

    (Please refer back to previous comments for the context.)

    You have frequently claimed that you worked in the NHS. You frequently comment on the NHS. It’s therefore a little surprising that you appear disinclined to give us your views on what the “decline” in the NHS consists of, what are its causes, and how you would link it in with the claimed creeping privatisation of the NHS.

    Are you really not capable of doing a bit of thinking and then writing the outcome of your thoughts in your own words? Or are you just limited to cutting and pasting the thoughts and opinions of others?

    So have a go and show that you have a mind of your own!

  • Mary

    If I thought that there was a genuine interest in what I think, I would reply but I know from bitter experience that there is nothing genuine about the Resident Interrogator’s interventions.

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