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999 Call for the NHS

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By 999 Call for the NHS, Aug 14 2018 10:52AM

Steve at it again


You know that feeling of "today I am NOT going anywhere near the NHS campaign".


Yeah that one.


So of course after 30mins of washing up last night's dishes while the coffee brews, a quick Duck Duck Go and a hop onto FB/Messenger and a whole flurry of NHS Bullshit sweeps me into a frenzy - yet again - and before I know it I'm trawling through the mire...


This is going to be brief. I want my life today.


SIMON STEVENS

Why cant we make the shit stick to this man? It's a mystery to me.


Is it that the public don't like personal attacks on an individual? What magical charm does he possess to woo all those around him? This is the quote that started it all off.




It kept appearing all over the place in relation to the muddle of media posts from 2017 that said things like "NHS BANNED 36 TREATMENTS". Shock tactics that journalists appear to need to use in order to keep their jobs no doubt as readership falls. So let's clarify that one while we're here. They didn't BAN 36 items that could be prescribed by GPs. They issued a statement to CCGs with a list of 36 items that could be purchased over the counter. It's explained here in PULSE MAGAZINE


Anyway... i stared at that quote.


Furious at first then irony popped in to say hello. And it made me chuckle. Yes "there is still waste and inefficiency that CAMPAIGNERS are determined to root out". It's you Mr Stevens and your bunch of crooks on the board of NHS England, Improvement, Digital, Innovation, Cream Tea, Uncle Tom Cobblybollox and all!





What better present could we ask for than to remove all the nasty corporate greed from our once "world's most efficient" public service NHS?


So the Shit-free Stevens factor. What is it that allows the obvious facts to be brushed underneat the rug that is soon to be pulled from under our feet? When Mr Stevens returned from USA to become the CEO of NHS England many eyebrows were raised - and UNITE the UNION raised a bit more with questions that don't appear to have been answered.





THE MEDIA MACHINE


Gulping coffee, my eyes were opened (again) to the enormity of the media machine we are up against as that quote cut'n'pasted neatly from the NHS England website - alongside another longtime fave Sir Bruce Keogh - was used and abused by the national papers and local rags up and down the country. Here's Bruce Bozo doing one of his hilairious routines about cutting A&Es by half in 2013.





What really caught my attention though was the sheer amount of press & media that had taken that first quote from the NHSE site and plastered it across all the nationals and local rags (so many more now being part of chains with less independence). CLICK HERE you'll see what I mean.


And that lazy cut'n'paste journalism is what we are up against and why we have to keep taking great joy in repetition. Cos that's what NHS England and the government do all the time, over and over. Repeat shit till it sticks. In people's minds. It's a bit like postering at Edinburgh Festival - As soon as we see their poster we stick ours over the top.



#NHSDetectives


As far back 2015 we were trying to get people to take a deeper look into the mysterious Mr Stevens who had started out under Blair but found himself as President of Global Strategy for United Health (one of the biggest health insurance providers in the USA) for 9 years before Jeremy Hunt in the midst of stirring his marmalade had a wheeze to bring him back to head up the "Transformation" of the NHS...


It's not so much the man himself. There's no rescuing him as he sold his soul long ago. Apparently on his office he has a drawing one of his children created based on his other quote of wisdom " THINK LIKE A PATIENT, ACT LIKE A TAX-PAYER" - aimed at the middle classes no doubt to reinforce the subliminal AUSTERITY message that we have to tighten our belts... blah blah


Simon Stevens is worth exploring because his career tells you so much about the nature of the corporate beast that now sits on the planet gobbling what it can and shitting on everything else that it doesn't see any value in. Like ordinary people wanting a fair and decent chance of a fair and decent life.


Stevens is in with the top brass of global healthcare - a massive humungous industry for the players with their hands on it. Not surprising really after 9 years of Global Strategy... those in the know will tell you all about the World Economic Forum where he and many other corporate strategists plotted and wrangled how best to provide efficient (profitable) healthcare on a global scale. Here's the list of Steering Group members.


I realise also it's not worth spending huge amounts of time on. Just keep reminding ourselves that our local campaign work - tackling the obscurity and deviousness of local council planning, Clinical Commissioning Groups & Hospital Boards - what we face stems from the root of the problem. The corporate model that is now our NHS. The Quangos that are full of business consultants who have no other way of thinking except old economic arguments and the pure belief that PRIVATE BUSINESS knows best.



Anyway...


Here is his rather lengthy CV


And here is our 2015 page - huge thanks to those who joined us then. NHSDetectivesCase#1


For us it was an eyeopener. Time to open the files again and see what pops out. Have fun. The corporate clowns are in the ring. But they're #NOTfunny. Time to (As Mr Stevens would say) "root them out" of our NHS.





By 999 Call for the NHS, Mar 19 2016 09:24AM


Where were Labour?
Where were Labour?


Friday 11th March

Caroline Lucas presented the NHS BILL (formerly NHS Reinstatement Bill). It was an opportunity for the Labour Party to get behind something that (no matter how imperfect it might technically as a Draft Bill) set out clear aims to bring back the NHS into public hands again. Taking the private market culture out of it and making it impossible for private corporations to control - as they are doing now in our understanding.


Deborah Harrington gives us this brilliant thought as to why Labour chose not to support it with MPs attendance at the debate - despite over 42,000 signatures on a 38 Degree petition.


Thanks Deborah.


Some context for those who don't get the point of the NHS Bill and think there is no problem with Labour not turning up to support it.


The first problem of note is Simon Stevens.


Simon Stevens was an NHS manager. He became a health policy advisor to Alan Milburn, in 1997, along with Mark Britnell and Penny Dash. He was also a Labour councillor in Lambeth.


He introduced the first privatisations into the NHS, including the Foundation Trusts (making them arm's length business units, rather than publicly owned services), PFI, and bringing United Health in to run the first privatised GP practices, among many other things. (Hansard evidence click)


In 2006 he went to work for United Health (the US's largest private healthcare corporation) in their Europe division, and in 2008 as president of global operations.


(Mark Britnell went on to KPMG and Penny Dash to McKinsey, where her role has included being a Trust Special Administrator - a role created by Labour)


In that role Stevens led a lobby group, lobbying the US Trade Dept to use trade laws to break open public health services worldwide to create access for US markets. United Health also lobbied against Obama's affordable care act.

In 2014 the Coalition brought him back as NHS England's CEO. Within a few months he had produced the 5 Year Forward View, which is what all your hospitals are suffering under, all the closures, reductions in service, land sales.


The 5YFV is completing the implementation of the H&SCA (2012). Labour calls Lansley's Act the reorganisation of the NHS, as if it is done and dusted and behaves as if everything else is just a consequence of the de-funding. It isn't. It is the constant restructuring of the 5 YFV. The money is being used as a lever to get the changes made - comply and you'll be bailed out, is the message.


Labour welcomed Stevens' appointment and support the 5 YFV. You can't oppose privatisation of the NHS and simultaneously support Stevens.


The second problem of note

is private sector involvement in the NHS and public ownership.


No matter what the Labour Party says, it appears to have no intention of renationalising the Foundation Trust hospitals, which is essential if they are not to be sold off as hospital chains to foreign investors (one of the next privatisation steps).


It is impossible to get the Labour Party to commit to Bevan's principles. Efford's Bill was not a proper 'NHS' bill. They refuse to support the actual NHS bill on the grounds that it is another 'top down reorganisation'. This is based on three things: 1. that the NHS staff don't want any more reorganisations. This is not true. Staff know the NHS is in a broken up mess. They need it to be put back together. But Simon Stevens says, in the 5YF that staff do not want another reorganisation (as he downgrades, closes and restructures all our services), and Simon is god like in the infallibility of his pronouncements according to all the main Parliamentary parties. 2. That everything is just settling down after Lansley's Act. It isn't, as explained above. 3. They don't understand the bill's provisions for returning to Bevan's NHS, because they don't understand anything about the nuts and bolts of health provision.


And Labour is quite happy to sell off our public land and assets. They also had no problem with massive restructuring for the purposes of privatisation. It is only restructuring to bring it back into public ownership they object to.


The Bill itself was totemic. In the face of piss poor opposition to date from Labour to the Coalition's and now the Tories' brutal destruction (they would have had to confess -and renounce- their role in the privatisation to successfully oppose) their support for the bill would have been a marker of intent on their part. And, with the SNP support + Lucas herself would have indicated the start of a progressive alliance that might have posed a real threat to the government. Unfortunately that's of little interest to a large section of the PLP.


It should be a matter of concern to the Corbynistas that John McDonnell was happy for Labour MPs to attend and vote in favour of the bill. He thought any problems could be dealt with in committee stage. But Labour Central issued the standard reply to be sent to constituents by all MPs, presumably against his will? - and Corbyn's? - on Thursday, saying they all had constituency duties, when they had had months of notice and could have rearranged their schedules for the day.


You have to understand that this is a story of corporate capture of our democratic processes, not a question of party political purity. United Health, McKinsey, KPMG, PwC and others are making the decisions about our NHS - on behalf of both the Tories and Labour. New Labour introduced New Public Management - the idea that government is about management of an entrepreneurial culture, not about political ideology. They brought think tanks and management consultants in to take the place of the civil service. The same management consultants whose major clients are global corporations. We need to fight this corruption of our democracy. Then the Labour Parliamentary party might return to the values most of its supporters old and new hold dear.



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