A leaked White Paper, NHS Reforms, Matt Hancock taking control of the NHS and his new NHS plan, an ‘end to privatisation’ in the NHS, new White Paper.
What’s going on?
The last week has seen several announcements, ‘leaked’ and actual, about the future of the NHS. Most commentators, if not all, are calling the proposals ‘new’ – as if Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock have seen the light, learned lessons from the pandemic and come up with a plan. Privatisation in the NHS will reduce, and there will be integration instead of competition, and everything will be lovely.
This, as with many things this Government announces, is really the opposite of what the NHS White Paper means.
There is not much actually new in these proposals and they are not a great undoing of the 2012 Health & Social care Act to make the NHS better– they are a logical extension of that Act and the NHS Long Term Plan (2019). This NHS White Paper wants to put into law an alternative structure to the NHS, the basis of which has already been rolled out across England at huge expense, without a democratic decision to do so.
Integration of health and social care sounds good. In fact, we have supported the NHS Bill, calling for the reinstatement of the NHS, which advocates a truly integrated approach. But that would require more involvement and funding for local councils, not less.
The Government’s Integrated Care Systems are wrongly named. They were proposed as a vehicle for ‘managing health and social care’ in the Long Term Plan but they are the continuation of the ideological path the Conservatives have been on for some time. ICSs won’t provide care according to people’s needs, which is the true responsibility of the NHS. Instead, they will have fixed budgets for an area and will ‘package’ their services to fit the budget – it’s a true Americanisation of the NHS.
Matt Hancock’s new plans would mean more American-style privatisation, not less. It’s the United Health version of health care. Already 83 corporations and businesses, including 22 from the US, are heavily involved in developing ICSs and some even sit on their boards, putting them in a prime position to steer decisions towards making more profits.
This is why Sussex Defend the NHS, and many other NHS campaigners, have been actively opposing these reforms - and their previous iterations such as STP’s (Sustainability and Transformation Plans) for some time.
Find out more and join Sussex Defend the NHS in opposing this White paper.
Find out more, especially about ICS, from Keep Our NHS Public Keep Our NHS Public (KONP).
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Sussex Defend the NHS