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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 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, Apr 22 2018 01:55PM

We are taking NHS England to court

As we make our way to Leeds Combined Court on Tuesday (24th April) this seems a good time to make that clear statement.


Not the NHS

We love the NHS - the one that used to exist before the (joke) fair-trade competitive market was allowed to sneak in back in the 80s and is now ripping its greedy claws into it since the 2012 Health & Social Care Act (2012 HSCA) gave it full permission to do so at every level.


NHS England is a QUANGO.

An arms length body (the lovely sounding ‘ALB’ abbreviation) that has NOTHING to do with delivering care just commissioning it. This means purchasing specialised NHS services and some Primary Care plus overseeing its Clinical Commissioning Groups which in turn purchase local health services from providers (sellers) of healthcare - thus creating that infamous phrase PURCHASER PROVIDER SPLIT.


NHS England was set up as an “independent body with executive powers and exceptional responsibilities” - part of the 2012 HSCA. Plans for it were prepped in 2011 and its full title is the The NHS Commissioning Board for England. The title says it all. Nothing to do with providing actual frontline patient care.




Interesting point to note is that the bill (Health & Social Care Act 2012) that created the demons NHS England, NHS Improvement - and the Clinical Commissioning Groups - was not mentioned anywhere in any party manifesto leading up to the 2010 election.


You could say there has never been a public mandate to carry out the massive top-down 2012 restructuring of the NHS that has resulted in administrative and bureaucratic chaos with over 200 Clinical Commissioning Groups purchasing healthcare from a wasteful and costly internal market involving a dazzling array of private companies and yet more accountants, lawyers and consultants all grasping the opportunity to make money out of the once world-leading public service NHS.


The NHS England Quango produced the 5 Year Forward View (5YFV) which gave birth to the Sustainability & Transformation Plans/Partnerships which in turn gave rise to the notion of (intended to morph into?) Accountable Care Organisations - encouraging the mantra of “integration” and “doing nothing is not an option” that has so successfully turned the heads of middle management, think tanks like the Kings Fund and Health Foundation, plus MPs and local councillors across the entire political spectrum.


It’s clear that “integration” in QuangoSpeak focuses on management integration (consolidating more control to one organisation and pooling or aligning budgets) and has very little to do with ‘joined-up’ delivery of actual patient treatment services. It’s about money and changing the shape and nature of the NHS which is seen by those seeking profit as “unsustainable” - QuangoSpeak means “makes no money”.


Campaigners all over the country are seeing the continued fragmentation and breakup of services. Management and finance are getting stronger, patient safety and care are being decimated.


What the Duck?

And don't be bamboozled by the everchanging NameChange Lingo Bingo that is going on. You know the saying - if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck...




So we are challenging NHS England the arms length QUANGO at Leeds Combined Courts on Tuesday 24th April. They have set the agenda to introduce an Accountable Care Organisation contract using what is known as a Whole Population Annual Payment (WPAP) which will dictate a whole new way of funding the NHS and a whole new way of behaviour by providers of care.


Take a minute to read this and think.




What’s your answer? We know what ours is: This will lead to a culture of care based on finance considerations and profit, forcing providers to act and think like insurance companies. It will also lead to a two tier health system based on the USA Medicare model - providing basic minimum treatments for those too poor or sick to be allowed private health insurance.


Talking of money do we know how much the QUANGOS are costing us? Take a peek.**Comes with a heart safety warning. THE SHOCKING COSTS OF QUANGOS


This is not the NHS we want. And right now nowhere in legislation does it say that NHS England can radically alter the NHS as we know it. If they and the government want to change the NHS to a more USA style setup then they need to publicly and democratically say so.


It’s time to explore the Q-FACTOR - the QUANGO - the Quasi Autonomous Non Governmental Organisation regime that has been allowed to grow on our political system like the fuzzy mould on that piece of cheese in the fridge that stays there in the hope you might use it in cooking. You know it should go in the bin right? Or at least cut the mould off!


We are proud to have so many campaigners from a round the country joining us at 9am on Tuesday for a rally before going into Leeds Courts. This is a case that really does affect us all.


Please support us in any way you can.



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