21 November part 1 – NHS updates

  1. NHS in talks with private providers re taking over or merging with the 19 Commissioning Support Units. These currently subsidised by the NHS and employ 9,000 staff , many of whom from previous PCTs but from 2016 they are expected to either form independent companies or form joint ventures with public or private companies
  2. Simon Stevens, new head of NHS England and not only ex Head of US Health Insurance firm but recently said that “national pay bargaining may have led to more than 3,000 deaths in the last decade ! Good rebuttal in the BMJ.
  3. Hunt’s appeal over the Lewisham decision thrown out but a clause in the Care Bill will block the loophole. Need to urge MPs to oppose.
  4. The excellent report from Sally Ruane, Colin Leys et al from the Centre for Health and the Public Interest concludes that the introduction of social care markets in England over the last two decades shows that competition has driven costs down, with a significant impact on quality. It has led to the casualisation and de-professionalization of the workforce and has left care users and their families vulnerable to a major provider collapse. They suggest that the NHS is susceptible to similar outcomes and unintended consequences as the market in NHS-funded care grows.
  5. There is an earlier CHPI report from David Hunter which notes Gavin Mooney wrote that “neoliberalism kills” and advocated a new political economy of health which could challenge and arrest the increasing commodification of health care and revive the idea of health care systems as social institutions. He says that what is urgently required is a social and political movement to articulate, and give voice to, such a vision backed up by robust evidence
  6. Plans to reconfigure London involve a reduction from 9 to 5 A&Es.
  7. Boots are now advertising private health insurance!

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