The global management consultancy company McKinsey has been shaping the NHS in its own interests and that of its corporate clients since since Alan Milburn got his hands on the Department of Health as Blair’s Secretary of State.
As the Guardian reported in 2000 – the year the New Labour government issued its NHS privatisation-friendly Concordat – Health Secretary Alan Milburn “secretly created a unit of outside professionals to work full time within the department of health and drive forward the Blairite revolution in health care delivery for the NHS…”
The new Kings Fund Chief Exec Richard Murray – at the time a health economist at McKinsey – was part of that intake, “recruited by discreet public advertisments”, according to the Guardian report. So was his predecessor as Kings Fund Chief Exec, Chris Ham; and none other than Simon Stevens – now Chief Exec of the NHS Commissioning Board (aka NHS England).
McKinsey and its corporate mates rule the NHS
In 2008, following the bankers’ crash and government bailout, the New Labour government asked McKinsey to come up with a plan to cut NHS spending. It duly obliged with its 2009 Report – which the Coalition government promptly put into effect in 2010, as the ‘Nicholson Challenge’ to cut £20bn NHS spending by 2015.
Thus driving the NHS into a frenzy of cuts, closures and shedding staff.
McKinsey’s proposed cuts are still being implemented – most recently with the NHS Commissioning Board’s plan to stop Clinical Commissioning Groups from routinely funding 17 elective surgical procedures this year – with more to follow.
McKinsey was also central to the Coalition Government’s 2012 Health and Social Care Act, as Tamasin Cave of Spinwatch uncovered.
The week after the Coalition government was set up in 2010, Tory Health Secretary Andrew Landsley paid McKinsey £6m for ‘services to the NHS leadership team.’
In this role, McKinsey drew up much of the 2012 Health and Social Care Act – including the creation of the NHS Commissioning Board – aka NHS England.
So it was a couple of seamless spins through the revolving door for Richard Murray to go from McKinsey, to Milburn’s Department of Health Strategy Unit, to the NHS Commissioning Board – designed by his former employer, McKinsey.
A document obtained through the FOI Act says McKinsey used its privileged access to ‘share information’ with its corporate clients – which include the world’s biggest private hospital firms. You bet.
There’s no way the Kings Fund can claim to be an independent think tank. Perhaps it’s time for it to be put on the statutory register of corporate lobbyists? As recently proposed for the Institute of Economic Affairs?