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999 Call for the NHS

A grassroots NHS campaign. Not affiliated to any of the political parties.

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By Jenny Shepherd, Aug 30 2019 11:11PM

999 Call for the NHS supports the campaign with WeOwnIt & Keep Our NHS Public to really get our NHS ‘off the table’ in any trade talks with Trump.



A trade deal with Donald Trump is a danger to our NHS. The only way to get the NHS off the table is for Parliament to urgently create legislation - along the lines of the NHS Reinstatement Bill - that entirely removes privatisation and competition, closes the door on US healthcare giants and protects our regulatory standards.


What YOU can do

- make sure Johnson feels the big oomph! to legislate NOW to take the NHS off the table in Trump trade talks.


Visit the WeOwnIt site ( address at the end of this blog below) where they've made it easy to make your voice heard. Start by inserting your postcode and the rest is simple.


Successive governments have starved the NHS of funding


all the better to create pressure to sell off 70 years worth of unique patient data to global companies.


A recent EY (Ernst & Young) consultancy paper trumpets the NHS’s “significant data assets” that cover the entire UK population from birth to death. Current data held by the NHS today amounts to 55 million GP patient records and an estimated 23 million patient-episodic care records that are held by hospital trusts and include details on admissions and medical interventions in accident and emergency departments.


The EY money grabbers, anxious to feed their corporate clients, reckon that the value to a commercial organisation of the curated NHS dataset could be as much as £5bn per annum.


They attempt to sweeten the nasty taste of stealing patients’ confidential medical data to sell to profiteering companies with the suggestion that, sold off to commercial organisations, this could:


“deliver around £4.6bn of benefit to patients per annum, in potential operational savings for the NHS, enhanced patient outcomes and generation of wider economic benefits to the UK.”


This is cobblers. The NHS is capable of delivering benefit to patients on the basis of data in our patient records. There’s NO NEED to sell it off to commercial companies. And it’s probably not even lawful to do so.


EY’s recent paper confirms what we've known about the consultancy company’s intentions for some time. For at least the last 7 years EY's been advising its corporate clients about ‘capturing value from the human body as data platform’.


As in its 2012 Global Life Sciences Report, . Progressions – the third place: health care everywhere


And in its 2018 paper https://www.ey.com/en_gl/digital/when-the-human-body-is-the-biggest-data-platform-who-will-capture-value



In a CK999 "revolving door" blog it is clear that there are meshed corporate and government interests in the NHS England Long Term Plan



We need an updated NHS Bill 

to prevent the hijack of the NHS by life sciences, big pharma and digital technology companies

We are calling for an update to the NHS Reinstatement Bill


We think it's common sense. The landscape of the NHS has been altered so radically and

in the face of NHS England's proposed legislative changes for Accountable Care Organisations (now rebranded as Integrated Care Providers), we are loudly advocating for an updated NHS Reinstatement Bill that puts medical innovation including DIGITAL & AI into public hands – in order to protect the NHS from the real agenda of Accountable Care: what Ernst and Young calls "capturing value from the human body as data platform.


You could call this the "Facebook model" of healthcare where an apparently free service is monetised by capturing users’ data. In pursuit of this goal, the NHS is being broken up and massively redisorganised into a testbed for life sciences and digital technology corporations’ “disruptive innovations” (their positive spin).


Post-Brexit, the government’s aim is to export these disruptive innovations to China, India, Saudi Arabia, Africa, leaving NHS patients stranded high and dry with a rump service, while the huge wealth of 70 years of millions of patients’ confidential medical data is mined for the profit of life sciences and digitech companies.


You just have to watch NHS England’s Director of Transforming Health Systems Michael Macdonnell jump ship to join Google’s Deep Mind Health.


His job will be to strengthen DeepMind’s partnerships in the NHS and overseas with the aim of applying AI to clinical practice.


Accountable/Integrated Care business and clinical models – whatever rebranded names they may go by – serve the interests of life sciences and digital technology companies, not of NHS frontline staff, patients and public.


The recent Darzi/Institute for Public Policy Research report makes this clear.


And so does May’s speech about the promised £20bn extra NHS funding by 2023.



To prevent the hijack of the NHS by life sciences, big pharma and digital technology companies, we suggest that an updated NHS Reinstatement Bill must bring the development of drugs and life science/medical technologies into public ownership through the establishment of a National Health Innovation Authority, and at a regional level, should replace Academic Health Science Networks with regional Health Innovation Boards.


This would restore evidence-based, clinically effective practices and cut costs by ending profiteering. It would redesign medical innovation as “Health Innovation as a public good”, driven by public health needs and social justice. This must be transparent and accountable to the public; deliver products and interventions that improve health outcomes, and that are accessible and affordable to all; and it must contribute to the progressive realization of the right to health.

There should be clear guarantees about data protection for patients’ confidential medical data and a refusal to put this on the market for purchase by private companies. This huge unparalleled source of health data must remain in public ownership for the public benefit.


Tony O’Sullivan, Co-Chair of Keep Our NHS Public, agrees


"The future of the NHS is more uncertain than ever as we face the threat of a No Deal Brexit and rushed through trade deals with the US. In [this] context, the risk that the commercial exploitation of NHS data is 'on the table' for negotiation, is chilling.”


Add your voice. Visit the WeOwnIt website now. It takes no more than 2minutes.















By Jenny Shepherd, Jan 11 2019 10:59PM



Today was my Diabetic half-yearly checkup. A good thing. Blood pressure, weight, draw a bit of blood. I love my diabetic nurse (let’s call her Susan) because she listens, she asks questions about my life, we swap notes on current NHS politics, she is an expert in drawing blood out of my always reluctant hard-to-find veins.


I wonder how Susan is? I’ve not seen her for over a year and a half. I miss her. And I don’t know who I will be seeing today as i pull open the GP Surgery door.


My heart sinks as I tap the digital screen on the wall just inside the GP Surgery door. (Another new software I notice). Receptionists are far too busy doing important stuff to say “good morning” or smile. I know because I can hear them laughing behind the shutters on their windows.


The login screen tells me I am the next patient with (not real name) Julia HCA. How many people here today actually know what an HCA is I wonder? The Nurse’s Room is still next to the waiting room. I know this because the door still has the room plaque “Surgery Nurse” on it - in a nice understated NHS blue.


But beneath it now sits a much larger piece of white plastic with a rather heavy clumsy black font displaying HEALTH CARE ASSISTANT. Being an artistic spirit my heart aches at the complete lack of care and aesthetic sensitivity thats gone into the creation of this overbearing plastic functional sign.


It’s ugly.




My heart sinks further when the door opens and I recognise Julia HCA. My first encounter with Julia HCA was the last time I saw lovely Diabetic Nurse Susan.


That appointment I returned home with four large wads of cotton wool - stuck to both arms, back of both hands (large bruises later) where the needle had been swivelled, twisted and jabbed in an attempt to extract my life-source. On that occasion. after four arduous attempts, Julia HCA had accepted defeat and called Diabetic Nurse Susan away from her very important paper-work (in the next room) to draw my blood.


One sharp, a prick so small I didn’t feel it at all, a smile and a line of friendly genuine chat - two tubes of blood were filled easily. Perhaps my relief at seeing Diabetic Nurse Susan was a factor? I miss Diabetic Nurse Susan.


Anyway... Julia HCA tells me to take a seat by the bed. The chair that is facing away from her. I turn my head so I can see Julia HCA - the other human in the room. Julia HCA is busy reading her screen and tapping her keyboard. She tells me she is going to measure my blood pressure, weigh me and take some blood. Because that is what the screen tells her presumably. When Julia HCA finally looks up I’ve already rolled up my shirt sleeve and placed my arm on the bed.


Without looking at me Julia HCA slips the cuff of the Blood Pressure machine onto my arm. She says firmly “Don’t talk or move while the machine is working.”


She turns away to the counter and gets busy opening the requisite needle pack, card tray and plastic tubes that drawing blood will require.


I don’t move or talk. I’m feeling the pressure. I stare at the PAID FOOT CARE leaflet stuck to the wall...



The blood pressure machine stops whirring and the cuff begins to deflate. Julia HCA scribbles on her pad. She does not offer a comment on her scribbling. I ask what the figures mean. It’s a little over the target. I refrain from suggesting why that might be.


And so the fun bit. Drawing the blood. Today is better. Julia HCA has had 18months more practice. Today only takes three “small prick” attempts and a weary “oh come on” sigh before finally stabbing a vein (in frustration?) and rich dark red fluid flowing forth. I experience a combination of deep relief she does not need to stab me again, gratitude that she has improved, and disappointment that I will not get to see Diabetic Nurse Susan.


So just two large cotton balls taped to my arms this visit. Now...shoes off, pockets emptied and I stand on the scales. Julia HCA tells me my weight in kilos which i have also read from the digital window. Julia HCA goes to the computer. Silence is broken with a “oh 2016 is the last time we weighed you...”.


We both agree that’s bullshit - my words not hers. But Julia HCA cannot tell me how much I have lost since my last visit because its not on the screen. I’m disappointed but resist voicing my internal “for fucks sake”.


Shoes on in silence. Slipping jacket on I thank Julia HCA. Nothing much more to say. Completing her computer screen box-ticking Julia says “Goodbye, see you in 6 months time”. I leave. I realise that throughout this entire clinical process Julia HCA and I have not made eye contact. Not once.


The questions begin as I walk home. (I’m lucky not needing to travel far). Where is Diabetic Nurse Susan? If Julia HCA is replacing her with her skills as the conduit twixt me and computer screen database what is Diabetic Nurse Susan doing? Is she next door doing very important computer work? Is she being a “Martini Nurse” - out and about putting ‘right care in the right place at the right time’ into the community? Or perhaps she’s at a Clinical Commissioning Group or Sustainability & Transformation Partnership meeting offering her valuable clinical expertise towards integrated accounts packages?


This is my experience of the modern NHS GP surgery. I don’t doubt there are good people in them still. But this experience has been faceless with no sense of a relationship, connection or purpose between me and the care professionals - those who once were praised and rewarded for their personal human interaction skills but now are forced to fit the machine of the “health economy” which is one more American idealogical phrase that has crept into our NHS. Scary article warning: PwC New Health Economy in an age of Disruption



Disruption is about right. My relationship with Diabetic Nurse Susan has been disrupted. Ended probably. I have no personal connection now between my sense of looking after myself (Preventative Care - what the NHS claims healthcare is all about) and a healthcare professional who actually gives a shit. Doctors have been warning about the dangers of destroying the doctor/patient relationship since 2012 - the Year of NHS Disruption


Disrupting patients and staff, denying proper human interaction and replacing it with a computer screen or an app only creates an apathy in me that gives rise to me being a patient who doesn't really give a shit either.


Can’t blame Julia HCA. She must know she’s cheaper and not respected in the scheme of things.

Can’t blame my Diabetic Nurse Susan. She’s off somewhere no doubt trying to be integrated and keep her job afloat.


Blame the GP surgery? They’re struggling to find staff on limited funds, under yet more pressure from NHS England to join the new, ultimately faceless, Super Hubs which are supposed to cover 30-50,000 population areas. Even though there is little evidence to prove they will lead to better healthcare.




I can definitely blame NHS England and NHS Improvement along with numerous other business busybodies like the Kings Fund, Nuffield Trust and Health Foundation who with their research studies are “wreckless driving” this inhuman new model of care that will produce better financial outcomes for company shareholders but will not produce better healthcare for patients - not here or anywhere.


It’s been a busy week with new job and campaign admin. I have yet to catch up with all the fuss and nonsense of the new NHS Long Term Plan. Part of me feels there is no point in reading the f**king thing. More of the same as the last bastard 5 Year Forward View plan that has laid the foundations for this “new model of care” we are seeing not so much evolve but explode (disruption don’t forget) inside our NHS.


Why are we allowing Simon Stevens, Chris Ham and others to adopt the Accountable Care Organisation healthcare model following the American model of care when it is universally recognised as being just a bit crap (utter shite) and "based on faulty assumptions, poor economics, and junk science"


This is just one reason why 999 Call for the NHS are continuing our fight in the courts. We have to keep fighting for a healthcare system that is human based, focused and managed. Not a corporate money making machine where patients and doctors are just faceless cogs in the economic machine.


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