The NHS is once again teetering on the brink of collapse because of underfunding and understaffing and is likely to eclipse last year’s record winter crisis.
The Tories. even this chaotic government, know that winter comes around once a year, but have again failed to take any of the needed steps to prevent it – Jeremy Hunt instead prefers to repeat lies and attempt cockiness on social media with people who know better than him.
NHS campaigners have long asserted that this is because collapse is the plan – a plan made before the Tories were even in power – in order to prepare the NHS for further break-up and privatisation – with the ultimate goal of reducing us to the horror of a US-style healthcare system. And it seems the Tories are moving to the next phase – the endgame? – of their plan with the imposition of a massive stealth-reorganisation.
The government and NHS England are restructuring the NHS into ‘Accountable Care Organisations’ (ACOs), although they are named differently in different parts of the country.
This is, after all, a stealth-reorganisation, with every effort being made to keep it out of the public consciousness.
ACOs will permit companies to run health and social services across a whole area – either providing the services themselves or sub-contract them. This gives ACOs control over the allocation of NHS and taxpayers’ money – but their accountability to the public will be under commercial contracts, not government statutes.
And not even subject to Freedom of Information requests – making what will pass for, but no longer really be, our NHS opaque, unaccountable and even more cost-driven than the Tories have already made it.
In a last-ditch attempt to block this catastrophic give-away, four leading health campaigners are taking the NHS to court.
Dr Colin Hutchinson, Professor Allyson Pollock, Professor Sue Richards and Dr Graham Winyard are working together to seek a judicial review of the inadequate consultation and openness of the government’s further ‘under the radar’ break-up of the NHS into snack-sized parcels.
Professor Pollock told the Independent:
The government has not only failed to consult the people of England about its plans but it has failed to lay its proposals before Parliament. In so doing, it is acting beneath the statutory radar in attempting the Americanisation of our health care and this fundamental re-organisation by stealth.
We call on everyone to support this legal action against the Secretary of State for health to ensure proper national public consultation and full parliamentary oversight and scrutiny,
The Dept of Health has, of course, denied what it is clearly doing – this is, after all, a stealth-reorganisation.
But everyone who values the NHS and the health of our people needs to answer Prof Pollock’s call and support the legal action – as well as raising awareness so that the government’s ‘stealth’ objective fails miserable and this assault on the NHS is seen for what it is.
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