East Midlands Businesslink reports that Dean Fathers, Chair of both the Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, has joined the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) board as a health sector expert.
This is part of the stealth privatisation of the NHS by Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs).
The government’s 2015 Spending Review settlement for the NHS committed the government to encouraging long-term partnerships with the private sector in a number of key areas including:
- development of new models of care including Accountable Care Organisations
- the upgrade of diagnostic capabilities
- hospital groups and acute care collaborations.
When the current West Yorkshire & Harrogate Sustainability and Transformation Plan leader Rob Webster was still Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation he put his name to a Report: Capital, capacity and capability – Independent sector providers helping to develop a strong Sustainability and Transformation Plan.
The NHS Confederation represents organisations working in the NHS, including the NHS Partners Network – a powerful and influential lobby group of private healthcare companies which is at the heart of the corporate rip off of the NHS and a trustee on the NHS Confederation Board.
Partnership: code for “privatisation”
The joint NHS Confederation/NHS Partners Network report announced:
“As has been acknowledged in the initial [STP] guidance, the independent sector should play a key role in helping individual footprints to meet the stated requirements for STPs and in ensuring the plans are effectively delivered…
“[Y]our partners in the independent sector can provide vital support as STPs are developed: providing crucial access to capital, capacity and capability and helping to make local services sustainable.
The STP development process is a great opportunity to strengthen and broaden these partnerships and leverage the capital, capacity and capability which the independent sector offers.”
This initial report has been followed up by a June 2017 Briefing on Local Growth and the NHS which focusses on how:
“Successive governments’ focus on local growth is leading to radical changes in the planning, financing and provision of public services.”
The June 2017 NHS Confederation briefing explains how the government’s economic localisation agenda – caustically known by us Northern plebs as the “Northern Poorhouse”- is playing out with such schemes as City Deals, Local Growth Deals ( negotiated with central government to decide how much each local enterprise partnership (LEP) in England would receive from the Local Growth Fund (approx £2bn per annum) and in what areas the money would be spent) and Devolution Deals.
Midlands Engine is the Midlands equivalent of the government’s Northern Poorhouse scheme.
Plentiful “risk based” local private capital funding can bridge Sustainability and Transformation Plans’ massive capital funding “gap”
Under the heading, “Growing local economies”, the NHS Confederation’s Local Growth programme says that:
“The NHS has a significant role to play in driving growth within local economies.
“By aligning organisational strategies with local growth priorities, NHS organisations can open themselves up to exciting new actors and funding sources that can help achieve their aims.”
For good measure the NHS Confederation defines itself as:
“the only body directly helping health economies to engage with their local leaders of growth”
An article in the Health Services Journal by the NHS Confederation’s NHS Local Growth Adviser – who promotes himself on twitter as “Supporting NHS organisations (and now universities) to influence local economic development” – claims that the shortage of public capital funding for the NHS doesn’t matter because plentiful “risk based” local private capital funding is available and can bridge Sustainability and Transformation Plans’ massive capital funding “gap”.
In the Autumn the NHS Local Growth Programme is setting up a so-called Local Growth Academy . This is its pitch to NHS organisations:
“With capital finance in the NHS severely constrained yet critical to realising the ambitions of STPs and other local plans, this development is very timely and will help NHS organisations understand where and how to access the new and emerging finance mechanisms that will determine local infrastructure planning.”
We don’t have much time to catch the NHS before it falls down the privatisation partnerships rabbit hole!