The Coalition has deliberately financially trashed the NHS to justify its privatisation

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Years before Andrew Lansley was to begin the dismantling of the National Health Service, Conservative Oliver Letwin told a private meeting in 2004 that the NHS would cease to exist within five years of a Conservative victory.

In the 6 years before the Tory Health and Social Care Act became law the NHS ran a budget surplus of a combined total of more than £10 billion. This can be confirmed on page 9 of the report document Tough times, tough choices – An overview of NHS finances.  Of that £10 billion surplus, more than £2 billion of the surplus came from NHS Trusts in the years preceding 2012.

After the passing of the Tory Health and Social Care Act, however, the combined surplus in the NHS Trust Sector has declined sharply. For example, in the most recent year, the NHS Trust surplus halved. This is confirmed on page 20 of the report. 

In addition, since the Tory NHS Act came into effect, an increasing number of NHS Trusts have reported that they are suffering financial difficulty. In fact, as an overall percentage of the NHS Trust Sector, the number of NHS Trusts “failing” due to financial difficulty has more than doubled since 2010. 

The picture looks even more dire when we focus on “acute” or hospital Trusts, and not just the NHS Trust Sector as a whole. In 2012-3,  8% of hospital trusts warned of financial difficulty – see here. By December 2013, however, this figure of 8% has soared to a massive 44% of Acute Trusts in financial trouble. 

It is clear that our NHS Hospital Sector is in severe financial trouble and evidence would indicate that the Tory Health and Social Care Act has caused it.

The Department of Health has disclosed that 4,620 frontline staff were made compulsorily redundant between 2010-11, and an  overall total of 7,000 key NHS clinical staff made redundant amid Government enforced cuts. The Labour Party also released a ministerial response to a parliamentary question which showed that a total of 7,435 fewer training places for nurses have been commissioned by the NHS in England over the last three years compared with 2009-10, when they were in power. In that year there were 20,829 training places available for would-be nurses, but that fell to 20,092 in 2010-11, then 17,741 in 2011-12 and then 17,219 in 2012-13.

A further 250,000 plus NHS and Social Care jobs have been axed or converted to zero hours contracts under David Cameron. There are 132,095 fewer staff employed in the NHS and Social Care services by the state today than there were in 31 March 2010. This is verified by the Office for National Statistics here and here. Overall, NHS staff headcount has been cut by 37,000 since April 2010. Other Health & Social Care Staff have been cut by 95,000.

It’s worth considering that the Information Commissioner Christopher Graham launched a scathing rebuke on the decision to exercise the Government’s veto, in a report on the case of the Health reforms risk register to Parliament in 2012. Blocking the publication of the report into the risks of the NHS reforms was also a sign that ministers want to downgrade freedom of information laws, a watchdog warned.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley deployed the veto when an Information Tribunal ruled that he should meet Labour demands to disclose the document. The risks that the Health Bill impose on our health service remain undisclosed. This is an unacceptable state of affairs, especially given that we are a so-called democratic nation.

The UK Statistics have also rebuked the Government over NHS spending claims – David Cameron famously promised he would cut the deficit, not the NHS. We have it in black and white: he is cutting the NHS, not the deficit. There could be no clearer evidence of the failure and deceit of this Prime Minister and his Government.

The watchdog called on ministers to correct the claims the coalition has made that they increased NHS spending in England. The UK Statistics Authority upheld a complaint by Labour about government claims that the NHS budget had increased in real-terms in the past two years.

The watchdog found the best-available Treasury data showed that real-terms health spending was lower in 2011-12 than in 2009-10. The coalition lied and said during its spending review the NHS budget had gone up.

“For months, David Cameron’s Government have made misleading boasts about NHS spending, misrepresenting the true financial difficulties he has brought upon the NHS. At the same time they have recently begun to try to distance themselves from these problems which David Cameron has created, trying to shift the blame to the NHS and its staff.” – Andy Burnham

Labour have pledged to repeal the Coalition Health and Social Care Act.

 

List of MPs with links to private healthcare firms

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 Big thanks to Robert Livingstone

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33 thoughts on “The Coalition has deliberately financially trashed the NHS to justify its privatisation

  1. Why are eople still surprised at what these dictators are doing to this country. They are merely finishing what thatcher started, only going even further. They will not be content until they grind the working class [the poor] even deeper into poverty, so they can rule by fear alone.

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    1. Probably no-one here is surprised, but gathering evidence and recording what is going on is useful for helping inform those who don’t know this is happening. And many clearly don’t yet

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  2. Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    More support for Mike’s contention, over at Vox Political, that the Tories are deliberately ‘starving the beast’ – denying the NHS and the rest of the welfare state funding – in order to justify further its dismantlement and privatisation. It also shows how the Tories have lied about maintaining funding for the NHS. What is particularly worrying is that the Tories have repeatedly vetoed the release of this information because of the adverse publicity it would give them. They are enemies of the principle of free health care and free speech. The last thing they should ever be given is your vote.

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  3. Similar steps to cheapen care of many sorts, are taking place at least in the two countries I know best, besides the UK: Sweden and the Netherlands. I can give details if necessary. I am all but certain that this is being done to make healthcare facilities of many sorts attractive to investors and indeed buyers, outside the home country. Doing this is probably needed to fully open such facilities for sale, when the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a.k.a. TTIP, a.k.a. the EU US Free Trade Agreement, comes into effect. Perhaps the best way to show this is by direct reference to the NHS. See this; http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2013/12/how-eu-making-nhs-privatisation-permanent . A general outline of TTIP is here: http://occupylondon.org.uk/information-kit-useu-transatlantic-trade-and-investment-partnership-ttip/ .

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  4. I hope they do and can stop this in other countries. Here are two examples. All Dutch hospitals were opened for competition for sale, in whole or in part, recently. One hospital I know well in Uppsala seems to be deliberately being degraded in many ways, and a new, hospital in Stockholm will replace a better one that already exists there. The Swedish Social Democratic Party was “positive” towards TTIP several weeks ago, although they wanted to make the ISDS mechanism less effective, from an investors point of view. Last week the labour union central, LO, seems to have abandoned this. They are, I think, worried about TISA (Trade In Services Agreement) a Free Trade Agreement that will encompass TTIP, TPP and others. They were alerted by this and previous documents from this source http://www.world-psi.org/en/psi-special-report-tisa-versus-public-services .

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  5. Reblogged this on stewilko's Blog and commented:
    They make you laugh in utter disbelief. How and why can they get away with this. Isn’t there any law or regularly department or organisation which is meant to oversee this type of behaviour.

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  6. Blogs like this are vital. You might not realise it, but you are making historical records. Blogs like this will be referred to in the future as an accurate record of what happened during these dark times rather than referring to official, doctored records of government and the mainstream media. Keep up the good work.

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