By 999callfornhs, Nov 9 2016 03:55PM
The latest spurt of Killer Clowns made me smile as 999 had just produced another batch of Corporate Clown cards. I kept hoping one would appear outside the Dept of Health where the real killer clowns live. Maybe one day.
Then one of the network sent me a link to a rather wonderful activitst blog from 2012 and that made me chuckle in an even darker way. And it's a distinct reminder that good people, informed people have been fighting this battle - stopping the privatisation by stealth of our NHS - for many many years. In the last 6 months we've met retired consultants who have been battling since the 1980's, retired nurses who have been fighting since the 90's, ordinary folk who have - like most of us - accidentally fallen into the NHS universe of corporate hell and won't let go. Not until we have won. And we will.
Because the darkness is too much to subject our kids and grandkids to. The lies and deciets employed by successive governments of the last 25yrs are too great to let go unanswered. People will be punished for their criminal acts. Destroying a public institution with corporate smiles and the suits of KPMG, Ernst& Young, Price Waterhouse Cooper & McKinsey plus that entourage of corporate killer clown siblings - they wlll be pulled short. And on the whole - once you've swallowed the blue pill - you can't give up, you can't unsee the awful clever cheating that the corporate killer clowns are carrying out.
And there are many different ways of fighting back. Humour is one way that thankfully is on our side. This blog from 2012 is a really fun (dark I warn you) way of highlighting the problems. And it may inspire you to do something similar.
My reply to a job offer from a private health company (July 2012)
What the heck is this? I’ve been trying and failing to stop the government from privatising the National Health Service for years, and now a private healthcare company has contacted me about a job!
The email from Care UK says they are “seeking a Media Relations Executive for our Head Office based in Colchester and your skills and experience appear to be a good match.” Huh? They are offering a “competitive salary, 25 days holiday and corporate discounts.”
Here’s what I have replied:
Thank you for your unexpected email about the Media Relations Executive job with Care UK. I am very interested. Since Care UK is possibly the leading private healthcare company making inroads into the NHS, I would relish the opportunity to publicise what it does – indeed, this is precisely what I was trying to do in my previous job as information officer for Keep Our NHS Public (on a much smaller budget, I’m sure). That must be what you were referring to when you said my skills and experience are “a good match”.
As you can imagine, I am brimming with ideas. If you don’t mind, I would like to set them out here. First of all, I think much more needs to be done to let the public know what Care UK is. Hardly anyone realises just how big a chunk of the NHS you now run, from GP surgeries and walk-in centres to treatment units doing things like bunions. If I were your Media Relations Executor I would promote this aggressively to build the brand. I think the public has a vague idea about NHS privatisation, but they aren’t yet able to put a face to the name, so to speak. Care UK’s name could be that face. As a profit-making healthcare company owned by a private equity firm you are perfectly positioned.
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By 999callfornhs, Apr 22 2016 09:26AM
Investigating is Tricky
We began NHS Detectives as a bit of a joke late in 2015. In a way it was something creative and "fun" to relieve the relentless onslaught of awful news we were being bombarded with from NHS England, NHS Confederation, NHS Employers, NHS QUEST, NHS Providers - the list just goes on and on. That's not even close to the daily news we recieve from local hospital campaign groups who are fighting desperately to keep their services in place.
Our work to "Connect.Organise.Inspire" has been arduous but it's working. Campaign groups are now in touch with one another and we have encouraged this from the very start. We always dreamed that people would fight locally because that is vital - but they would understand that their local situation was a duplication of exactly what was happening across the country. A&E's downgraded, Maternity Wards moved due to safety, Paediatrics the same... all part of the national pattern of wilful destruction of the NHS by Simon Stevens' Five Year Forward View. A rather glamorous "caring sharing" sounding document that set out a plan to rescue and "transform" the NHS that was fast becoming unsustainable and suffering a crisis of monumental proportions.
Simon Stevens, former Blair advisor, former President (9years) of Global Strategy with American private-for-profit health corporation United Health, Simon Stevens who lobbied in Washington DC to pressure the TransAtlantic Trade & Investment Partnership... Simon Stevens the boss, CEO of NHS England as of 2014... Simon Stevens became our first case. THe case is now open again and the NHS Detectives are re-examining the evidence. Simon Stevens is not the saviour of a broken NHS. He is the designer of the coffin.
Next came an exercise in mapping the private companies (THE MAP). Twitterers and FB'rs sent in info and we began to build a map. It's a bit rough round the edges. It became a huge task. (If anyone is interested in helping to continue building let us know.) But even after only one week of building it began to provide a fearful picture of just how far we have let our NHS be eaten into by private companies - not just in providing services, that is not the real problem. The real deathknoll for our public NHS is the strategic position many of these companies have squeezed themsleves into. They are now advisors, support, managers, planning and strategy formulators working quite happily with Simon Stevens' 5YFV (catchy title).
It works just like breaking up a company - too big to take over all at once, break it up into pieces then take over each of those little bits. THEN - here comes the clever bit.... tell us all what's needed is "joined up care" , "integrated care" that the division between all the NHS Trusts, Foundation Trusts, the Providers, the Commissioners is in need of cleaner, safer, smoother process and it can be fixed by making it more connected, more integrated - sort of the way it used to be twenty five years ago only this time with the private companies inside the fabric, inside the net we always thought was there for our safety.
Clever. Break it up. Move in. Take over. Stick it back together with few new Acute Care models thrown in, close or downgrade the hospitals and services that you dont want as they won't make any money, drag charities in to do the "face" damage (no one likes to criticise a charity), and force communities to be more resilient. Clever.
All the while campaigners struggle with the mindboggling question. Are these corporate business types evil people who have nothing in their heads but the right hand column of the accountsl spreadsheet? Or are they misguided in their belief that they are doing the right thing to help our nation stay healthy? Stupid? Evil? That's the question.
Stupid or duplicitous?
The more you investigate the more that question grows and the overriding feeling that there must be an awful lot of confused, mentally conflicted individuals who, even now whilst you are reading this, are sitting in meetings sitting politiely listening to a speaker rabbiting on about Improvement, Care, Quality, Future Health and Transformation, Sustainability. The evil process of privatisation we fight is complex, multi-faceted and in places subtle and ethereal. It's imbued in designer graphics, photographs of arthritic pensioners, mainstream media stories of NHS Staff unable to cope, pamphlets, patients groups, and good people doing good things... Like the Health Foundation who can criticise a charity who want better health?
We call it the 4Point Click. 1 - Go to a site. 2 - About Us. 3 - Governance 4 - Board/NonExec and there these evil twisted mentally conflicted individuals sit, usually smiling at you in a way that is chilling. Give it a go. Follow the link below. Try the 4 point click. Let us know what you start to dig up.
Your Mission if you wish to accept it... CLUE - McKinsey
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