Tomorrow the NHS England Board is meeting and, in the light of last week’s government Budget, is likely to decide to abandon bits of the NHS Mandate, which spells out how the NHS has to provide comprehensive health care for all. The agenda item is 4. Planning for 2018/19 in light of the Budget. There is no paper for this item, which seems extremely remiss.
This is the context for Jeremy Hunt’s criticism of the internal market and Foundation Trusts, in a Health Service Journal interview yesterday, which you can see the key portion of in this tweet from the HSJ’s Shaun Lintern.
Our NHS editor Caroline Molloy writes:
I know, I know, we’re all thinking ‘hooray Jeremy has got with the programme at last’…. not.
Here is your Hunt translation service in one handy twitter thread
(which you can read without needing to be on twitter though please do share if you have an account).
This isn’t new, actually, Hunt has (perhaps less blatantly) criticised both things before – but it will get attention as tomorrow NHS England is to have a big meeting about cutting the NHS to fit the budget cloth.
“the internal market” created “completely independent foundation trusts” & “that model has to change”
Hunt means: Let’s force skint hospitals to form hospital chains with lots of private sector involvement, as per Dalton review.
“with an ageing population, what you need more than anything is integrated care that can span multiple providers”
Hunt means: “by integrated, I mean bundled contracts and US-style arrangements like ACOs that the private sector can get their hands on”
As well as US-style Accountable Care Organisations, re-integrating purchaser & provider with heavy private involvement, Hunt ALSO means “Hey, let’s use the private sector domination of social care & IT as a toehold for it to gain way more of our healthcare too'”
When Hunt says:
Hunt means: ‘of course we’ll let the NHS do the bits the private health firms don’t want!’
When Hunt says
Hunt means “yes, the NHS is the fairest & most cost effective healthcare, but hey, this apocalyptic demography canard is my favourite thing, don’t you remember when I said the ageing population was a problem ‘more serious than climate change’?”
And Hunt also means
“We ALL know that the way to free up ££ for NHS is to stop wasting billions on its daft ‘market’ system, so we’ll pretend these ACOs scrap the market, but these dodgy secretive US-inspired schemes will keep the private firms involved”