2 more hospitals considering private ownership

Reblogged from CCGWatch:

The SKWAWKBOX blog last month covered the betrayal of the country by LibDem peers who voted through the government’s ‘section 75‘ measures designed to parcel up the NHS for privatisation by forcing Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to put all NHS services out to tender and include private bidders.

This process was foreshadowed, by a few weeks, by the decision by the supposedly ‘independent’ team appointed to review the decision to break up Mid Staffs NHS services in spite of massive opposition from the local people. These ‘independent’ reviewers (who were the same people who made the original decision!) have put out an invitation to private providers to express their interest in taking over the broken-up services.

But this is not the only ‘example in microcosm’ of the government’s vision of how health services should look in the all-too-imminent future.

There has been very little coverage of this in the mainstream media, so you may not be aware of it, but (at least) two NHS hospitals are already considering what amounts to handing themselves over to private ownership in response to the war of financial attrition and ‘marketisation’ to which they are being subjected.


Weston Area Health NHS Trust has announced that, as a small DGH (district general hospital), it is unable to achieve the Foundation Trust status that the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (HSCA) mandates that all NHS acute (hospital) Trusts must achieve by April next year. As a result, it is inviting ’expressions of interest’ from the ‘health market’:

Midlands and East Strategic Projects Team (SPT) on behalf of NHS South, the NHS Trust Development Authority and Weston Area Hospital NHS Trust, is sounding the market providers for expressions of interest to engage in a competitive tendering process to find a partner organisation to deliver its requirements by either i) an acquisition by another NHS Acute Trust, Foundation Trust or other NHS Health Body; or (ii) an operating franchise.
NHS South commissioners and Weston Hospital NHS Trust agreed that a market procurement solution should be sought for Weston Area Health NHS Trust.

In other words, the hospital is offering private providers a ‘franchise’ to use its name and its NHS ‘brand’ to provide services for profit – perhaps by buying another hospital to run alongside it. The hospital board insists that

To read more, please visit http://www.ccgwatch.org.uk/2-more-nhs-hospitals-already-considering-private-ownership/


  1. Hereford may go the same way, for the same reasons. So all the government needs to do is reverse this foundation trust nonsense. Errr….

  2. If the public become sufficiently informed (more power to your elbow) about this series of constructs that make “inevitable” what they are too scared to put straight to the electorate (viz centralisation, privatisation, super-specialisation etc) they will realise, if they aren’t already realising, that they are being conned by the persons in suits. They will not find this acceptable, nor indeed common sense.
    The problem for the public, however, is this. All three main parties are up to their necks in this process. The Conservatives started it in the late 80’s and into the 90’s; after a brief hiatus with Frank Dobson, New Labour pushed it on and have thus enabled the current Con/LibDem coalition to push it well forward, having failed to mention it in their manifestos. All parties have MPs and ministers with conflicts of interest and so, alas, do the CCGs, charged with implementation (and shouldering future blame on behalf of HMG).
    All the public have are interest groups. Some are highly effective and quite clearly representative of local opinion but are lucky if they influence events (though small victories are still worth having).
    If anyone out there is friends with Ed Milliband please prevail on him to be brave. Apologise for New Labour’s ill conceived foray into the marketisation and commodification of Health and say in no uncertain terms that One Nation Labour will have a simple collaborative system, adequately funded* and services as close to the patients, but in the appropriate environment as common sense (not the opinions of Professors) dictates. Money will be directed to those providing care and nobody will have a job in the NHS that is not, in some way, directly or indirectly assisting in that care. If you can’t have Labour creating clear water between them and the other parties on Health when the public clearly want that, what’s the point? This must be the biggest electoral opportunity for labour this side of the next election.

    * A collaborative system may well be cheaper than the current one so it won’t necessarily be open to the “where’s the money” jibe.

    1. I agree on almost everything. However, Labour have already started to say (and it’s becoming more and more forthright) that they allowed too much of the market into the NHS. Andy Burnham’s plan to integrate social care into the NHS as a ‘free at the point of need’ service is a step in the right direction, too.

      That said, I’m all for more boldness and I think a clear position of this nature on the NHS is an election-winner for Labour, if the leaders have the boldness.

  3. The back door sell off of the NHS is a disgrace, but the same process is being steamrollered in our schools…

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: