NHS news review

Dr David McCoy, associate director of public health for inner north west London warns of sharks circling intending to make money from the privatisation of the NHS.

The York-based Haxby Group Practice of GPs reveal themselves to be sharks circling around the privatisation of the NHS by offering private treatment for simple ailments. Unite correctly raise serious concerns e.g. use of NHS data for private profit.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley presents his speech to Conservative party scum. Lansley claims that the NHS will not be privatised or undermined … while the NHS is obviously privatised and undermined.

Shadow Health Secretary John Healey responds that Cameron is in denial:

“David Cameron is in denial, both about the damage his plans are doing to the NHS and the strength of opposition to his health bill.

“There is no mandate for the bill, either from the election or the coalition agreement. With the government having railroaded its plans through the Commons, heavy responsibility is now going to be shouldered by the Lords.”

Conservative election poster 2010

A few recent news articles about the UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat coalition government – the ConDem’s – brutal attack on the National Health Service.

Sharks circling the NHS – doctor warns – Channel 4 News

A leading public health doctor tells Channel 4 News that private sector “sharks are circling around the NHS” hoping to make profits from the government’s health reforms.

Dr David McCoy, associate director of public health for inner north west London, is one of more than 400 experts who have sent an open letter to the House of Lords urging peers to vote against the health and social care bill when it is debated later this month.

He told Channel 4 News their concerns were motivated by fears about the “commercialisation” of the NHS in England. “It means opening up the private sector to the market by making everything provided to the NHS subject to competition,” he said.

“There are a large number of sharks circling around the NHS. For some people the NHS is an unopened oyster capable of generating high income streams and profits.”

‘York GPs set to profit from NHS privatisation’, says Unite

Serious concerns about the accelerating stealth privatisation of the NHS and the veracity of David Cameron’s pledge that the NHS is safe in his hands have been raised by Unite, the largest union in the country.

The latest example of the growing privatisation trend is the York-based Haxby Group Practice of GPs which is touting the services of HGB Ltd, owned by the practice.

Patients have now been written to by the practice offering such services as procedures to deal with in-growing toenails at £146.95 and simple viral warts at £156.40. This new ‘Private Minor Operation Service’ is based at the New Earswick Surgery, New Earswick, York, YO32 4AG.

Unite’s national officer for health Rachael Maskell said: ”Even before the government’s vehicle to privatise the NHS – the Health and Social Care bill – has been approved by parliament, the insidious stealth privatisation is gathering pace.

”The latest example is the touting of services by the Haxby GPs through a private company they own – HGB Ltd – for services that until very recently were provided by the NHS. The GPs are set to profit from what is the privatisation of the NHS.

”Serious question have to be asked about the use of data collected for NHS purposes now being used for energetic marketing. Is patient confidentiality, the bedrock of trust in the NHS, being compromised in the interests of private profit?

”The impression that is being given is that these services, such as skin tags, are no longer available on the NHS. This may be a sad fact of life for this practice, but there are other areas of the country where these procedures are available on the NHS.

”Why should a pensioner have to pay for an in-growing toenail in York, but in Oxfordshire – David Cameron’s home turf – it could be on the NHS?

”More widely, David Cameron’s rhetoric that the NHS is safe in his government’s hand is increasingly being revealed as a sham – hollow and threadbare. Now is the time for the House of Lords to flex its collective political muscle and reflect the nation’s will and reject the privatisation of the NHS, once-and-for all.”

The marketing activities of the Haxby Group were exposed on www.nhsManagers.net.

Related: NHS will not fund some operations, patients told | Society | The Guardian Health chiefs to hold talks with York GPs over ‘go private’ letter claim (From York Press) NHS patients offered private treatment by GPs – Telegraph

NHS will not be privatised or undermined, says health secretary | GPonline.com

Andrew Lansley has promised that the NHS will not be privatised, fragmented or undermined while he is health secretary.

In a keynote speech at the Conservative Party’s annual conference in Manchester on Tuesday, Mr Lansley said he is committed to ensure the NHS is a ‘comprehensive, high quality service’ free at the point of delivery.

He said the Health Bill will safeguard these values, will improve quality, reduce health inequalities and empower patients and staff.

Mr Lansley also criticised the Labour party and its ‘trade union puppetmasters’ for pushing ‘ludicrous lies’ about the NHS reforms plans.

He said: ‘We have all fought together as a team this year. Against misinterpretation, misinformation and misrepresentation from Labour and the left-wing unions about the plans we set out in our Health Bill.’

[There’s an attempt there to slur opponents of the Destroy the NHS Bill merely as “left-wing unions”.

While some left-wing unions do oppose the bill opposition is by no means limited to them. The 40 accomplished healthcare professionals that signed yesterday’s letter and the hundreds of doctors that supported them and the healthcare associations like the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Surgeons, the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Chartered Institute of Physiotherapy are not “left-wing unions”. They represent and are the National Health Service.

You can’t trust the Tories – and the Liberal-Democrat Tories – with the NHS.]

But shadow health minister Diane Abbott said Mr Lansley was like the ‘captain of the Titanic’ with his ‘blind faith in the unwanted reorganisation’ of the NHS.

She said: ‘On a day when over 400 public health professionals have condemned the government’s reorganisation, it is gross hypocrisy for Lansley to stand on a Conservative party platform and profess his admiration for nurses and health professionals.’

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