Councillors! Scrutinise the whole NHS Slash and Trash Plan – including intended switch to Accountable Care System next April.

Here’s Jenny Shepherd’s deputation statement as Chair of CK999, to the West Yorks and Harrogate Joint Health Scrutiny Committee meeting on 28 November.

She warned Councillors of of the growth of a two tier health system that would deny NHS patients the care they need and are entitled to, and urged them to refer the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership’s damaging proposals to the Secretary of State.

(You can read Christine Hyde’s deputation statement here and a report of the meeting will be uploaded shortly.)

Jenny said:

Please scrutinise the whole Sustainability and Transformation Plan – including the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership’s intention to become an Accountable Care System next April.

It’s not enough to scrutinise individual elements of the Plan. This is a systemic change at least as great as the 2012 Health and Social Care Act – described as big enough to be seen from space.

It’s being done by stealth, with no primary legislation. Jeremy Hunt says that regulatory or legislative changes needed to introduce Accountable Care Organisations will be carried out by statutory instrument and completed by March 2018.

Accountable Care Systems will accelerate and intensify the cuts and privatisation imposed on the NHS by the 5 Year Forward View and the Sustainability and Transformation Plans.

The government stated in the 2015 Comprehensive Spending Review, that Accountable Care Organisations were a means of long term partnerships with the private sector.

Accountable Care Systems aim to “manage demand” for NHS and social care services – in practice this means restricting patients’ access to a range of treatments.

Here’s just one example of the damage already done by the 5 Year Foward View and the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership.

Please think carefully about whether you want to be responsible for more of this kind of damage, by failing to scrutinise the whole Sustainability and Transformation Plan.

Recently an 81 year old Mum with Multiple Myeloma cancer who’d recently started chemo became ill with a lung infection, was taken into a cancer ward in Leeds hospital and ended up in a bed on the corridor.

This is the bed

Her daughter said:

At 6.30am they had woken her up disoriented and moved her bed into the corridor as someone more ill needed the bed. 
When I visited I found someone else in the bed where Mum had been the day before and Mum was in the day room.
She had gone into the day room as she was freezing cold and it was impossible to rest in the corridor (with the patient toilets right next to her).

I asked at the desk where they were moving her to, only to be told that they weren’t moving her anywhere, that the hospital was in crisis and that this is the situation on lots of wards. The nursing staff have to choose the least ill patient on the ward and put them in the corridor to make more room. Apparently on some wards there are 3-4 patients sleeping in corridors!!

Who makes these decisions…an offsite ward manager!!!…meanwhile frontline staff have to go against their training and their ethics…and likely get abuse from concerned families. Ill people are left to sleep (or more likely not sleep) in a cold corridor opposite the toilets. There is also the knock on effect that the nursing staff end up with more patients to deal with than there should be.

The nursing staff agreed wholeheartedly that the situation is appalling and that this shouldn’t be happening.

This is the state of the NHS, underfunded and stretched to the limits. It’s already being sold off to the government’s rich friends right under our noses and it isn’t going to get any better unless we fight for it.”

Upstairs in the Bexley Wing of the St. James’s Institute of Oncology is a private cancer ward run under the brand Nova Healthcare.

This advertises itself as working in partnership with Leeds Cancer Centre to provide treatment and the highest standards of personalised care to private patients.

Healthcare Technologies International – “eyeing up new growth in the UK”

Healthcare Technologies International says Nova healthcare is its “brand” and it’s

“eyeing up new growth in the UK”.

HTI got its foot in the NHS door through “partnerships” with the Belfast Health & Social Care Trust and the Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust, based on a 15 year contract for design, development and cancer equipment management. HTI recently transferred their shares in HTI Ireland and HTI Leeds to Medipass Healthcare Ltd. They say this

“allows HTI the maneuverability and financial strength to continue to meet the growing demand for NHS cooperative private patient units and satellite radiotherapy centres to be developed throughout the UK.”

This is not lost on the families of NHS cancer patients who suffer indignities because of inadequate NHS hospital bed numbers.

We can’t have the NHS reduced to a second class service for those who can’t pay for private healthcare.

Please also note that Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Groups and Calderdale and Huddesrfield hospitals Trust have proposed a new cost-cutting contract – and consider what that could mean for patient care. Please scrutinise proposed contractual changes across West Yorkshire and Harrogate Sustainability and Transformation Partnership.

Accountable Care Systems, importing a private/public business model from countries like Spain and the USA, would reduce our NHS to the status of the US Medicare system – which provides basic healthcare for those who can’t afford private health insurance.

Don’t let this happen here.

More info about Nova healthcare that there wasn’t time to tell the Scrutiny Committee about

It is confusing that Healthcare Technologies International describes Nova Healthcare as its “brand”, since the Nova Healthcare UK website shows it is is part of Aspen Healthcare, which was acquired by Texas-based Tenet Healthcare Corporation in 2015. Here is the Investor Centre webpage for Tenet Healthcare Corporation. 

Tenet Healthcare Corporation has defrauded Medicare, the USA’s publicly funded healthcare system for people who can’t afford private health insurance. According to a lawsuit filed in 2014, four hospitals then owned by Tenet had collaborated in a “kickback” scheme with Clinica de la Mama to increase hospital referrals of Medicaid patients, with two of Tenet’s former subsidiaries admitting to “conspiring to defraud Medicaid.”

They have also dodged taxes and spent heavily on lobbying. In December 2011, the non-partisan organization Public Campaign criticized Tenet Healthcare for spending $3.43 million on lobbying and not paying any taxes during 2008–2010, instead getting $48 million in tax rebates, despite making a profit of $415 million, and increasing executive pay by 19% to $24 million in 2010 for its top 5 executives.

Why is Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust “working in co-operation” with Nova Healthcare to “provide private patient services”?

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