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/