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By 999 Call for the NHS, Nov 14 2018 05:45PM

So Matt Hancock, Health Secretary has told the Health Service Journal today that the government "is not going to hand (Integrated Care Contracts) to the big private healthcare companies". And that he was hoping for cross-party "buy-in" for changes to current NHS Laws, and was "absolutely up for" seeking to agree proposals with the Labour Party.

Well he would wouldn't he? Let's hope the Labour Party can agree to disagree with him on that one. Too often in recent years we have seen the traps of the reasonable compromising middle of the road cross-party solution...

Sometimes the old ones are the best...

Right now Opposition MPs (yes, in theory we do still have them) need to be calling out the "Austerity -thinking" that Conservatives are using to destroy our public services and institutions and - more importantly - people's lives. Poverty levels are rising and even the UN has been in the UK investigating the effects of Austerity in creating yet more poverty in the UK.

Will the government take note? Dont hold your breath.

The HSJ reports that the government QUANGOS "NHS England and Improvement are expected to propose changes to the Health & Social Care Act 2012 later this year, in the NHS long-term plan, or early next year".

Our question about the new 10 Year Plan we keep hearing about is: What's a Quasi Autonomous Non- Governmental Organisation doing creating or proposing government policy? Has Parliament abdicated all responsibility for that role? This is especially worrying as a recent poll of MPs revealed that a shocking number of them didn't really understand the NHS England terminology and changes taking place - there was a "Knowledge Barrier" apparently.

We've learnt over the years NHS England are really good at Knowledge Barriers.

To deflect any opposition to his announcement, Hancock throws the worn out mantra "We do not want a big top-down reorganisation of the NHS". Ask any clinician, NHS Staff member and they will tell you their experience is NOTHING BUT continual 'Top Down' change, over and over.

Indeed the current restructuring and reconfigurations (you'll know them as closures, mergers and downgrades) that are being pushed through the 5 Year Forward View Sustainability & Transformation Partnerships and leading us to Integrated Care Systems are NOTHING BUT Top Down Re(DIS)Organisations.

And a major (albeit quiet) tool in this process is the the proposed Integrated Care Provider contract - don't forget its original name of the Accountable Care Organisation contract before Ben Bradley MP (Labour) helpfully pointed out to Jeremy Hunt at a Health Select Committee meeting that it was poor judgement to choose the title so directly connected to the USA heathcare model it is based on. Well done Ben.

Will the contract ONLY be given to NHS Organisations?

Labour are missing the point if that is the only question they feel qualified to ask.

Matt Hancock knows this. It's not just the matter of WHO the 5 or 10yr contract is given to. It's WHAT the contract is that is the crux of the matter.

For us the ICP (formerly the ACO) contract is WRONG. And we think (one reason we're returning to the Court of Appeal on the 20th November) the introduction of the contract is UNLAWFUL. Because it changes the funding mechanism of the NHS, the way in which providers will be paid, forcing them to change their behaviour by prioritising price, value and financial conditions over quality and excellence of care being offered to patients. Something that politicians were, time and again, promised WOULD NOT HAPPEN during debates when passing the awful 2012 Health & Social Care Act.

We are no fans of the HSCA 2012.

But the law is the law. If NHS England want to "work around it" and bypass it what is the point of having our parliamentary democracy?

There is no intention to have ICPs awarded to private healthcare providers

Hancock trumpets in one breath. All very well but... define 'NHS Organisation' and define 'private'. All private profit seeking health companies use the blue logo to hide behind and most of them have .nhs in their website URLs. They are technically the modern NHS - a series of providers not a unified network of coordinated services (you can see where the cry "it needs joining up" comed from).

In the next breath though Hancock changes his tune. He's got his eyes on the GP Federations and Super Hubs that are emerging.

"I don't want to rule out groups of GP practices coming forward and running integrated care, and GPs are largely private organisations".

Yet another cliched tired mantra beloved of the right-wing "Austerity thinkers". GPs didnt used to be private. They were self-employed but contracted to the NHS. They couldnt trade their patients on the stock market. But they can now as more of them are "encouraged to become Social Enterprises or Community Interest Companies - private business entities.

So it's clear to us that it is not just WHO is handed the 5 or 10yr contract (meaning even a change of government can't amend or retract. The question politicians should be asking is "WHAT IS THE CONTRACT that is being given?"

And WHAT are the consequences of this proposed contract?

By forcing NHS Providers to accept a fixed annual sum at the beginning of the year and to estimate their services ahead of actual delivery, based purely on financial risk not clinical need, NHS England are changing the focus and ethos of our NHS.

We're convinced this seemingly innocent looking contract hides a findamental attack on the core principle of the NHS - to provide high quality comprehensive healthcare for those in clincal need - regardless of social status and ability to pay.

That's one reason why we are marching back to the Court of Appeal. Join us if you can.

To find out more CLICK HERE

By 999 Call for the NHS, Aug 7 2018 08:33PM

Steven Carne mulling over the mystery of the URLs

If you have the stomach for it, Roy Lilley's ditty today on his daily "mantra" that goes out every morning to NHS managers and their minions is quite enlightening. It's all about the inevitable journey we are all going to have to take to the ultimate cul-de-sac Rue de Digitech...

Mr Lilley, darling of the NHSWhiteCollars says at one point:

Technology is no respecter of tradition, Royal Colleges or trades unions. Babylon is attracting patients in their hundreds and primary care, in the home counties and commuter belts, will be hollowed out.

It is a deep concern that we have shared for many months now as campaigners in West London have battled with Babylon which licenses it's technology to virtual GP surgery providers like GP at Hand - protestors including GPs gathered in East London recently to oppose the expansion of the virtual service seen as another chisel in the NHS Chipaway toolbox. PROTEST IN EAST LONDON

Not only is the Bablyon App causing havoc in terms of Clinical Commissioning Groups funding (what happens when thousands of extra patients register in your CCG area on a digital app? Well NHS England step in of course...)

The smartphone virtual GP is also creating deep concerns about safe triage and patient welfare given that algorithms and tickboxes are replacing the human skills involved in high quality care. Surprising then to see at the very top of Monsieur Lilley's tosh a big advert for the CEO of Babylon, a certain "proud to be a disruptor" Ali Parsa who is giving a talk at the Royal College of Medicine about - well here's the pic

A sell-out indeed!

I'd be very surprised cos it's not actually AT the Kings Fund.

And here is a taste of Mr Ali Parsa in action. He is a supreme marketing wizard creating PR Editorial that is probably the envy of every clinical PR agency in London. It's easy to do but difficult to make it stick. Parsa is a master. Watch his interview as a panel member on the shipwreck that is BBC Newsnight. The video shows you his tricks very clearly.

There is of course never a mention of Ali Parsa CEO of CIRCLE who failed miserably in taking over Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Cambridgeshire 2013 - not enough money in it! So gave the hospital back to the NHS after just three years of a ten year contract

Anyway I thinks to meself after visiting the events page : Why is Roy Lilley, lover of the NHS, advertising Ali Parsa the man who wants to disrupt it with digitech apps that will totally undermine the idea that is the Art of Caring? Well... turns out the event is organised by something known as UK HealthGateway.

This rings a bell...

this is a little known company UK HEALTHGATEWAY LTD which is a company advising and presumably getting some dosh in return for advice and consultation on how best to peddle your wares in the ever growing competitive market being plonked on the unsuspecting NHS and the public who love it so. Mr Lilley is a Director of this company. But he loves the NHS. Doesnt everyone?

So - back to where we began - this lot also produce something called which sends out the daily email Newsletter from Mr Lilley.. this is a supreme example of just one miniscule maze of digital wonder and URL Hide-Behinds.

Bear with me, it is confusing because if you type in the URL you actually get taken to something called Institute of HealthCare Management and if you scroll down the ABOUT US page to the last paragraph it is frightening to see some of the names on the Advisory board..

Former Chair of NHS Improvement, Ed Smith,

Sam Jones, recently stepped down as Head of New Models of Care at NHSEngland,

Peter Homa, until January 2018, CEO of Nottingham Universtiy Hosptalsl NHSFT

Fabulous! Oh there is an Academy of Fabulous Stuff apparently! But that's a whole other URL...

So... After seeming to regret the Babylon App in his desktop mantra - turns out he's organising the blessed event at the Royal College of Medicine... ironically where the late Prof. Stephen Hawking gave one of his most powerful speeches about the role of private companies destroying the NHS. I wonder what he would make of Babylon Apps and other piranha fish digi-tech companies?

Suffice to say that whilst Senor Lilley, a Director in the Institute/UK HealthGateway/Fabulous Academy likes to talk about defending the NHS and welfare of manager (mostly) and patients, he can't quite shake the fact that he's really saying "the future is digital so shut up and get on with it". And he of course implies that any pesky campaigners or ne'er-do-wells who dare to question the role of hi-tech, smartphone apps and Artificial Intelligence in the future of healthcare is plainly a moron.

Well we can face it - technical advances are inevitable and should be welcomed into creating a better healthcare service for the future. The NHS before the market years was NEVER afraid of innovation and often led the way in research and new technology.

It's not the tech we're worried about. It's more the worry that the massive glut of entrepreneurial digital start-ups and Community Interest Companies, often partnered with dubious parent companies, are beginning not only to shape the future of healthcare but also manipulating it to meet their needs (profits) and not those of patients. And how accountable are these new digi-techs all hiding behind URLS of gateways, academies, institutes and .nets?

Take the fearful Artificial Intelligence company Alphabet Inc. the mother company of GOOGLE... well their little Artificial Intelligence exercise DeepMind was the subject of an Independent Review which Bloomberg reported as saying:

But guess what? The Independent Review was carried out by a panel of independent Reviewers HIRED BY DEEP MIND. So this review sounds rather hollow... THE PANEL

It's clear now all the moves towards Accountable Care Organisation models of care (call them what you like, quack quack) with all the nasty cuts and reconfigurations being made to fit the template, with more funding flowing directly into IT and Digi-tech Life Science companies, it is clear our NHS healthcare is becoming a feeding frenzy. We used to say the vultures are circling but vulutres only eat dead flesh.

The NHS is being kept alive on a drip and being forced to become the foodsource of the piranhas that are the Life Science and Digi-tech companies so eager to take a large bite.

So Mr Lilley. Chew on that.

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