On April 1, Parliament passed legislation that will finish the job of privatising the NHS, a job started under the Thatcher government and doggedly followed by those of Major, Blair, Brown and now Cameron/Clegg.
Every single one of these governments lulled the fears of the majority with words of praise for our NHS and protestations that it was ‘safe in their hands’ yet the dismantling continued unabated, foundation trusts, PFI which took the very hospitals into private ownership, closures and ‘regroupings’ went on while our public health service got smaller and more stretched.
The latest attack is the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). CCGs have been set up by the government all over the country and every General Practice has to be a part of it. Basically the CCG buys ‘services’, these can be from anyone, a transport company that has decided to get into the health service bonanza to a private company set up by some GPs and hospital managers.
The CCG will be made up of some GPs, practice managers and nurses and they will decide who runs which service etc. The CCGs are overseen by a group called NHS England who obviously use the NHS logo and claim that they are just part of the NHS but this body is also responsible for buying in bigger services.
Many multi-national companies are now waiting in the wings to cherry pick the best bits of what was our NHS to satisfy their lust for maximum profits out of the misery of sick people.
One service that has been bought in already by Wakefield CCG is hearing tests and battery replacements for those with age-related hearing loss. This is being done now in six general practices across the district by Novus Health, a company set up in 2007 by some local doctors and managers.
This was announced by a local GP on his practice’s blog. This GP’s Practice is based at Kings Medical Practice in Normanton, and it is one of the six sites for the trial. Strangely, Novus Health is listed as operating from that same address. The GP is also a member of Wakefield CCG and guess where Wakefield CCG are reported as having their meetings? Kings Medical Centre Normanton! Is there a confliction of interests here?
Wakefield KONP was set up to oppose the sinister and speculative privatisation of our public health service initially by a group of pensioners but our numbers are growing.
We have been told to leave the matter to those who represent the people but trying to get ‘representatives of the people’ to assist in fighting privatisation is not so easy. Did you know that 55 Tory MPs, 4 Lib Dems and 11 Labour MPs plus 112 Tory and Lib Dem Lords plus 33 crossbench Peers have financial and vested interests in Private Health care? These people have voted this legislation through when they will benefit financially from this, another confliction of interests perhaps?
Members of our group have e-mailed many of their councillors in the Wakefield area again and again to outline our concerns and ask for help. We have had only two replies offering no help whatsoever!
There has already been a large demonstration in Dewsbury about real concerns that Dewsbury Hospital but why wait until they are closing your particular hospital or the service you use to complain? The time to stand up is now.
They simply don’t want to know. This includes our MP in Wakefield who has failed to respond at all.
On June 17, at 7pm, Wakefield Keep our NHS Public (KONP) are inviting the people of Wakefield to come along to a public meeting at the Black Rock public house and find out what is really happening to their NHS.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Wakefield Keep Our NHS Public