Follow the money…hospital cuts plan, Vote Leave, UK-US trade deal with NHS on the table

What links the Right Care Right Time Right Place hospital cuts scheme to Vote Leave Ltd, Boris Johnson's leadership campaign and the Initiative for Free Trade? We follow the money...
What links the Right Care Right Time Right Place hospital cuts scheme to Vote Leave Ltd, Boris Johnson’s leadership campaign and the Initiative for Free Trade? We follow the money…

Calderdale and Huddersfield Health and Social Care Strategic Review

In 2012 and 2013 – hidden from the public – the Calderdale and Huddersfield Health and Social Care Strategic Review Executive Committee was planning the hospital cuts and centralisation scheme that would emerge in February 2014, to widespread public outrage.

The scheme, known as ‘Right Care Right Time Right Place’, is still ongoing, in a slightly revised form required by the Secretary of State. This is because the Calderdale and Kirklees Joint Health Scrutiny Committee rejected the plan 3 years ago today, on the grounds that it was not in the interest of the Calderdale and Kirklees public, or the local NHS.

P A Consulting Group

The baseline financial data for this cuts-driven plan was produced by PA Consulting Group, together with the Clinical Commissioning Groups’ Directors Of Finance.

The data were presented at the Strategic Review Executive Steering Group Meeting on 20th February 2013:

  • Current system spend – £1.7bn
  • The 7 organisations (Calderdale and Huddersfield Hospitals trust, South West Yorkshire mental health trust, Locala, the 2 CCGs and the 2 local authorities) had to save £303m – “a combined savings challenge”. Of this, commissioning had to save £124m. These were all one year figures.
  • “It was agreed the commissioners’ figure of £124m would be talked about”

This was the basis for the 2014 Strategic Outline Case economic model, which was intended to provide cheaper health care.

IN ADDITION, at the Feb 2013 Strategic Review Executive Steering Group Meeting, it was the PA Consulting rep Martin Horncastle who suggested that the hospital cuts and centralisation “Vision” document should be presented as “an integrated care model”.

Martin Hardcastle is a Partner, Global Health & Life Sciences, PA Consulting Group. His Linked In profile says he leads PA’s regional health team having worked in Healthcare for 20 years, delivering fundamental changes to the structure and running of Healthcare organisations.

The Minutes of the Feb 2013 meeting record that

“MH suggested that the Vision document could be developed, taking the content provided by the Care Streams and describing it as an integrated care model… linking together for a genuine system wide view.

ACTION: PMO to develop a paper describing an integrated care model…MH noted that an initial version would be drafted with further detail to follow.”

For this, PA Consulting was paid nearly £1m by the Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Government figures released in 2010 showed that PA was the second largest beneficiary of UK Government contracts to consulting firms, receiving £11 million over the first year of the coalition. (Deloitte received £11.7 million and KPMG £9.5 million).

John Moynihan, self-employed venture capitalist

All that is history, which we reported over 6 years ago. Why revisit it now?

I recently stumbled across an Open Democracy report on the Brexit-backing businessmen taking control of England’s schools.

One is Jon Moynihan, whose LinkedIn describes him as a “self employed venture capitalist”. He made a fortune over two decades leading PA Consulting, first as CEO and then as executive chairman, before he left in December 2013.

In its report, Open Democracy pointed out,

“Thanks to this most under-the-radar transfer of power, local democratic control of 9,000 English state-funded schools is already lost. And some of Britain’s wealthiest businessmen, who have collectively paid millions to the Conservatives, find themselves in command of children’s futures.”

Seemingly all part of the plan – Moynihan told the Financial Times the ultimate outcome of selling advice to the public sector would be to make government so small there would be “hardly anything to consult upon”.

McKinsey and Co

Mr Moynihan joined McKinsey in 1977, and cut his consultancy teeth there for two years before jumping ship to Strategic Planning Associates in Washington in 1979.

McKinsey has been shaping the NHS since Alan Milburn got his hands on the Department of Health as Blair’s Secretary of State.

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.

This was a key driver of the Calderdale and Huddersfield Health and Social Care Strategic Review.

Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group paid McKinsey £150K in 2019 to produce a “detailed capacity modelling report” intended to show how the integrated care model (first proposed by PA Consulting) would reduce the need for A&E attendance and acute hospital beds.

Ipex Capital

When Moynihan retired in 2013 as PA Consulting Group chairman, he stayed on as a principal of its venture capital spin off, Ipex Capital. Incorporated in 2009, Ipex Capital invests in the science and technology, healthcare, nanotechnology, life sciences and information technology industries. Moynihan stepped down from significant control of Ipex Capital in September 2019. Other fish to fry, it seems.

Vote Leave Ltd

Moynihan was chairman of Vote Leave’s finance committee and Vote Leave’s Campaign Committee. He handed more than £120,000 to Vote Leave – where Dominic Cummings was the Campaign Director.

At the time of the Electoral Commission’s 2018 investigation of Vote Leave, which found it had broken electoral law, Moynihan was one of four remaining directors of Vote Leave Ltd and one of three people listed as owning the company.

Jon Moynihan recently made a submission to the House of Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee Inquiry into the Work of the Electoral Commission, asserting that the Commission is a New Labour experiment that had failed, is dangerous, redundant and should be abolished forthwith.

Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?

Boris Johnson’s biggest donor

In June 2019, Jon Moynihan made the biggest single cash donation to Boris Johnson’s leadership campaign: £100,000.

As of 17 January 2020, Electoral Commission records show he had given £449,090.00 to the Conservative Party since 2001.

Initiative for Free Trade

Jon Moynihan is Chairman of the Initiative for Free Trade, a “thinktank” set up in September 2017 with a launch in the British Foreign Office led by then Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Trade Secretary Liam Fox. Johnson came under fire from senior civil servants for waiving the usual £6,000 fee for use of the venue.

Desmog notes,

The IFT’s president is [former] Tory MEP and Brexit campaigner Daniel Hannan, who has spoken about fostering greater ties between post-Brexit Britain and America at events hosted by US thinktank the Heritage Foundation, a US thinktank known for opposing climate action and environmental regulations that was at the heart of Donald Trump‘s transition team in the weeks before he became president.

The IFT was formerly based at 57 Tufton Street, sharing an office with the anti-renewables thinktank the Centre for Policy Studies, and next door to many of the organisations DeSmog UK previously revealed to be at the heart of a UK climate science denial network in 55 Tufton Street.

On September 18, 2018 the IFT launched a “blueprint” for a US-UK free trade deal that the Guardian reported,

“would see the NHS opened to foreign competition, a bonfire of consumer and environmental regulations and freedom of movement between the two countries for workers,”

The IFT drew up the trade deal blueprint together with the libertarian US-based thinktank, the Cato Institute, which has received significant funding from the oil billionaire Koch brothers and ExxonMobil, while lobbying strongly against action to reduce carbon emissions.

Other free market thinktanks involved in preparing the US-UK trade deal included the Adam Smith Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the the Institute for Economic Affairs, where Moynihan is a member of the Board of Trustees.

It seems that the Initiative for Free Trade/Cato Institute UK-US trade deal blueprint is being followed by the Trump administration. The US ambassador to the UK Woody Johnson has told the Marr Show the National Health Service will be ‘on the table’ in a future post-Brexit trade deal between America and the United Kingdom.

On Monday 20th July, MPs voted 326 votes to 263 against amendment NC4 to the Trade Bill, which would have given MPs a vote over future trade deals. Jean Blaylock, trade campaigner at Global Justice Now said:

“The government’s fixation on secrecy and its obstinate refusal to give parliament a say on trade deals is alarming. Its own backbenchers tabled an amendment to ensure basic democratic oversight and guarantee MPs a vote…

When you understand what is at stake, this is terrifying. Many MPs spoke of the need to protect our NHS because it is all that has stood between us and devastation in the last few months. Yet this bill does nothing to ensure the NHS is off the table in trade negotiations.”

Follow the money


  1. I really despair for my children and grandchildren’s future without the safety net of the NHS. How could we let this happen. Our politicians are selling us out to the money men – and women.

    Liked by 1 person

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