Stephen Hawking and leading doctors to take Jeremy Hunt to court over 'back-door privatisation' of NHS

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Stephen Hawking and leading doctors to take Jeremy Hunt to court over 'back-door privatisation' of NHS

Post by Guest on Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:52 pm

Full judicial review granted to determine the lawfulness of the Secretary of State's proposals to introduce Accountable Care Organisations

Professor Stephen Hawking has won permission to take Jeremy Hunt and NHS England to court over controversial proposals to restructure the health service, The Independent can reveal.

Mr Hunt has tabled a plan which could allow commercial companies to run health and social services across a whole region in what critics have described as allowing back-door privatisation.

Leading healthcare professionals and Professor Hawking have argued an act of parliament is required, allowing MPs and Lords to scrutinise the proposals, before the policy is implemented and any changes to regulations are made.

Lawyers from the Department of Health and NHS England have rejected these claims but a court has now ruled that a full judicial review will be granted to determine the lawfulness of Mr Hunt’s proposals.

The news comes as pressure mounts on Mr Hunt after he faced a barrage of criticism during a record winter crisis for the NHS. One in five NHS hospital trusts ran out of beds in the first weeks of winter and adult patients were put on children’s wards as trusts struggled for space.

Under Mr Hunt’s plans the boundaries between different parts of the NHS that pay for and provide care, such as hospitals, GPs and clinical commissioning groups, would be dissolved.

Responsibility for patients in these areas would be held by new healthcare overseers called Accountable Care Organisations (ACOs) which could lead to newly merged NHS super-organisations or a non-NHS body being awarded contracts to manage and provide entire packages of care.

These ACOs in turn could choose to either subcontract the service or provide it themselves.

Campaigners say this would allow ACOs to control the allocation of NHS money but their accountability for spending it and their obligations to the public would be under commercial contracts, not parliamentary statutes.

The ruling is the latest instalment in an on-going feud between Professor Hawking and Mr Hunt, with the scientist previously accusing the Health Secretary of cherry picking and misrepresenting research.

The Department of Health described campaigners’ criticisms about ACOs as “misleading” and “irresponsible scaremongering”.

Just last week Mr Hunt was forced to slow down his attempts to enforce the plans and conceded that a national public consultation was needed. Despite the setback the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care said he still planned to go ahead with his plans.

Campaigners argued this was a “concession in response” to their potential judicial review.

Now, a court has ruled in favour of Professor Hawking and the health campaign group, JR4NHS, and said that a judicial review will be required.

Claimant and ex-Cabinet Office civil servant, Professor Sue Richards said the judicial review was an “essential mechanism for ensuring public accountability”.

“I am delighted that we have been allowed to challenge actions by Government and NHS England to bring in this policy without making changes to the law which we say are necessary,” Professor Richards said.

Dr Colin Hutchinson, a former consultant eye surgeon who is also a claimant and the chair of Doctors for the NHS, said Mr Hunt’s proposals would “eventually affect everybody in England”.

“There needs to be a sound legal basis before 10-year contracts worth billions of pounds are outsourced to these new organisations. We are delighted that the court has decided that our arguments deserve to be examined in detail,” Dr Hutchinson said.

Professor Hawking has claimed that the health policy was heading towards a “US-style insurance system run by private companies”.

Dr David Wrigley, the chair of doctor’s in Unite and a member of the BMA’s council said the judicial review was “welcome news” and that ACOs would have a “huge” impact on healthcare systems.

“It is absolutely vital to have a judicial review at the present time as it was going to be pushed through parliament with no vote and no scrutiny,” Dr Wrigley told The Independent.

“It is welcome news that parliament and patients may get a chance to look at this as there is so little known about the impact of ACOs.”

Dr Wrigley also accused the Department of Health of trying to get the policy through without scrutiny.

“There is so little known about what the impact the ACOs will be on the health economy. A little bit more scrutiny and consultation is a good thing in my mind,” he added.

Dr Rachel Clarke, an author and NHS doctor, said anything that allows for greater scrutiny of the ACOs could “only be a good thing”.

“When long-term NHS contracts are being rewritten covertly, behind closed doors, it is impossible not to fear their potential impact on our health service. If ACOs are no threat to the NHS as we know it, then why are they not being talked about openly? Why are they being rushed through on the sly?” Dr Clarke told The Independent.

Baroness Judith Jolly, the Liberal Democrats’ spokesperson for Health said: “Accountable care organisations need to be just that – “accountable to the taxpayer” with a clear governance structure and backing in law.

“Sarah Wollaston MP [the chair of the Health Select Committee] did not get a straight answer from Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State on this. There needs to be a legal process to set up these organisations and if it takes a judicial review to do that – so be it.”

An NHS England spokesperson described the judicial review as a “mistaken effort which would frustrate the move to more integrated care”.

“The effect would be to fragment care and drive apart the very people who are now rightly trying to work more closely together on behalf of the patients they jointly serve.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson added that its consultation process was “appropriate and lawful”.

“We strongly resist the misleading claims in this action; it is irresponsible scaremongering to suggest that Accountable Care Organisations are being used to support privatisation and harm the fundamental principles of the NHS.

“The NHS will remain a taxpayer-funded system free at the point of use; ACOs are simply about making care more joined-up between different health and care organisations.

“Our consultation on changes to support ACOs is entirely appropriate and lawful. We believe it is right that local NHS leaders and clinicians have the autonomy to decide the best solutions to improve care for the patients they know best – and any significant local changes are always subject to public consultation and due legal process.”

Why call them ACOs if they have nothing to do with US system? If Hunt had the confidence of the medical profession and the population that might give him some right to make such extreme structural changes, however he certainly does not have that confidence. Nobody feels this is being done in their interests.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/jeremy-hunt-judicial-review-stephen-hawking-accountable-care-organisations-back-door-privatisation-a8184161.html

Here are just a few of the people who have a vested interest in making sure the legal action fails.


1. David Cameron – former Prime Minister

Handed a peerage to nursing andcare home tycoon Dolar Popat, who has given the Tories more than £200,000 indonations.

2. Andrew Lansley - Former Health Secretary &architect of privatisation

Received a £21,000 donation inNov 2009 from John Nash, the former chairman of Care UK.

3. Harriet Baldwin – Tory whip

Former executive at JP Morgan, amajor player in private healthcare.

4. Greg Barker – former Energy Minister

Held shares in Quester VCT 5 plc,a venture capital firm with multiple investments in healthcare companies.

5. Henry Bellingham

Former director of LansdowneAdvisory Ltd, which has shares in private healthcare company Circle.

6. Jake Berry

Has registered interests in legalfirm Squire Patton Boggs, which workEd with multiple NHS trusts on PFI and PPPprograms.

7. Graham Brady

Former advisor to PA Consulting,a management consultancy company which has worked with the NHS’s new ClinicalCommissioning Groups.

8. Simon Burns – former Health Minister

Attended an oncology conferencepaid for by Aventis Pharma - a five-day trip to the US funded by a leading drugfirm.

9. Nick de Bois

Was the majority shareholder inRapier Design Group, an events management company heavily involved with the privatemedical and pharmaceutical industries.

10. Steve Brine

Received almost £15,000 indonations from James Lupton, the chairman of investment bankers, GreenhillEurope which has a global network of corporate relationships in the healthcaresector.

11. Aidan Burley

Received six bottles of wine fromHitachi consultants for a speech in 2011. Hitachi Consulting UK built an online‘portal’ for NHS commissioners to help them monitor performance.

12. Damian Collins

Spent almost a decade working formarketing agency M&C Saatchi, whose clients include PPP healthcare, AXAinsurance, Astrazeneca, Pfizer and Merck

13. David Davis – former shadow home secretary

Received a payment of £4,250 fora six-hour speaking engagement for private health insurance company Aviva.

14. Jonathan Djanogly

Received £1,900 from HuntleighHealthcare Ltd, which manufactures medical and orthopaedic equipment andinstruments.

15. Richard Drax

Received £14,000 in a series ofdonations from Derek Luckhurst, chief executive and owner of care home groupAgincare.

16. Iain Duncan-Smith – Work and Pensions Secretary

Has shares in hygiene technologycompany Byotrol plc, which sells products to the NHS.

17. Philip Dunne

Was a non-executive director forinvestment firm Baronsmead VCT 4 plc, which had multiple investments in privatehealthcare companies.

18. Michael Fallon – Defence Secretary

Former director of Attendo AB, -a Swedish private health company.

19. Mark Field

Was a board advisor to Ellwoodand Atfield; a recruitment firm which recruit for NHS positions and privatehealthcare.

20. Liam Fox – former Defence Secretary

Received £5,000 from investmentcompany IPGL Ltd, who purchased healthcare pharma company Cyprotex.

21. George Freeman

Has shares in Hill House AssetsLtd, formally private health firm 4D Biomedical Ltd.

22. Mike Freer

Provided marketing advice to CareMatters, a financial planning company for care homes.

23. Richard Fuller

Worked for L.E.K consulting,which has six ‘partners’ in European healthcare.

24. Richard Graham

Received £3,000 from assetmanager Crispin Odey, a major investor in Circle.

25. William Hague – Leader of the Commons

Received a £20,000 donation fromMMC Ventures, which parts owns The Practice plc which runs 60 GP surgeries.

26. Philip Hammond – Foreign Secretary

Beneficiary of a trust which ownsa controlling interest in healthcare and nursing home developer Castlemead Ltd.

27. Mark Harper

Received £5,000 from assetmanager Crispin Odey, a major investor in Circle.

28. Nick Herbert

Received £15,000 in donationsfrom Caroline Nash, wife of former Care UK chairman John Nash.

29. Jeremy Hunt – Health Secretary

Received £32,920 from hedge fundbaron Andrew Law, a major investor in healthcare firms.

30. Margot James

Had a key role at marketing giantWPP Group, which had a long list of healthcare clients.

31. Sajid Javid – Culture Secretary

Received £11,000 from MoundsleyHealthcare Ltd last year.

32. Jo Johnson – Downing Street policy adviser

Received £6,000 from assetmanager Crispin Odey, a major investor in Circle.

33. Kwarsi Kwateng

Worked as an analyst for forCrispin Odey’s hedge fund Odey Asset Management.

34. Mark Lancaster

Former adviser to propertyventure capital firm Company Palmer Capital Partners Ltd, a funder ofDanescroft Commercial Developments, which has worked in the healthcare sector.

35. Dr Phillip Lee

Has worked as a freelance orMedical Solutions Ltd, which provided medical cover for events.

36. Oliver Letwin – former shadow chancellor

Was a non-executive director ofN.M. Rothschild Corporate Finance Ltd, which invests heavily in healthcare.

37. Peter Lilley

Non-Executive director ofmanagement software firm Idox plc, which provides services to the NHS HealthLibraries Group





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Re: Stephen Hawking and leading doctors to take Jeremy Hunt to court over 'back-door privatisation' of NHS

Post by nicko on Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:21 am

Sleep
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Re: Stephen Hawking and leading doctors to take Jeremy Hunt to court over 'back-door privatisation' of NHS

Post by WhoseYourWolfie on Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:05 am

Arrow

Yet another conservative attempt to "Americanise" national health sysytems,  and try to eventually hand control over to the corporate "Robber Baron" health fund operators and private hospital owners...

There are quite a few extreme-right free market/'dry' politicians in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, France, et al, who would delight in attempting the same as well, if they think they could get away with it..      

Ever-rising costs and declining services would be the only possible outcome, if they ever succeed.

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Re: Stephen Hawking and leading doctors to take Jeremy Hunt to court over 'back-door privatisation' of NHS

Post by Fred Moletrousers on Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:49 am

WhoseYourWolfie wrote:Arrow

Yet another conservative attempt to "Americanise" national health sysytems,  and try to eventually hand control over to the corporate "Robber Baron" health fund operators and private hospital owners...

There are quite a few extreme-right free market/'dry' politicians in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, France, et al, who would delight in attempting the same as well, if they think they could get away with it..      

Ever-rising costs and declining services would be the only possible outcome, if they ever succeed.


Really? An awful lot of Labour peers, MPs and donors seem to have got their own fingers in the pie, not that Labour's unquestioning mouthpiece Sassy and the ever gullible Wolfie will like to see their predictably one-sided rants challenged.

http://www.unionsafety.eu/docs/HSNewsItems%2012/DespiteProtestationLabourMPsProfitFromNHSPrivatisation.html

Personally I am against privatisation of the NHS and its traditional provision of free medical treatment to all who are in need of it, but I am certainly not against the involvement of the private sector where firms can provide better and more effective and efficient services such as catering, cleaning, maintenance and procurement. Such firms offer a wealth of expertise, management capability and investment that the over-stretched NHS cannot reasonably provide.

I'd be perfectly happy to pay another penny in the pound on income tax, with two pence for higher rate taxpayers (of whom I'm one before you ask) with the additional funds ringfenced for the NHS and the NHS only.

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Re: Stephen Hawking and leading doctors to take Jeremy Hunt to court over 'back-door privatisation' of NHS

Post by Tommy Monk on Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:29 pm



I want public services run by govt and civil service and public servants...!


And I want all of them to be held accountable for providing good service for the salaries they are paid, and for all of the taxpayer funds used, to be fully audited and justified and detailed information available with full transparency!!!



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Re: Stephen Hawking and leading doctors to take Jeremy Hunt to court over 'back-door privatisation' of NHS

Post by >THE Ben Reilly< on Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:43 am

Tommy Monk wrote:

I want public services run by govt and civil service and public servants...!


And I want all of them to be held accountable for providing good service for the salaries they are paid, and for all of the taxpayer funds used, to be fully audited and justified and detailed information available with full transparency!!!



You're a big-government socialist, then

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Re: Stephen Hawking and leading doctors to take Jeremy Hunt to court over 'back-door privatisation' of NHS

Post by Tommy Monk on Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:56 pm



If govt is to take some of my money by force, for the promise of providing services, then they need to be running things effectively and efficiently and with transparency, and only using the money for the direct provision of said services... not towards profit for third party private companies...!


Govt should always be able to deliver the services better and cheaper than any third party private company, if they are running things properly, as they should always be able to provide at least the same service without the additional cost of the profit margin that private company would charge on top...!


If govt was run properly/effectively/efficiently etc then there would be no private companies willing/able to provide better service, cheaper, while still able to take profit from it...!


The fact that there are so many private for profit companies out there who say that they can do, plus profit, just shows the fact that govt/civil service etc are in need of a major 'root and branch' overhaul to wipe out waste and inefficiency!!!


I pay taxes for essential services... not for PC agenda pet projects of wasteful waffle!!!


Example... I was looking at TFL travel website the other day to plan a journey... on it was a click link to their 'anti slavery policy'...!!!


WTF!?


I'm looking to get a train from A to B FFS... WTF do they need to be spending shit loads of money for on that sort of bollocks!?



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