As a family doctor it became increasingly obvious that the NHS was being deliberately run down. My patients were not getting good and timely care, often not being admitted due to lack of beds, or being discharged prematurely and suffering as a result.
As part of the Government’s politically motivated and economically illiterate austerity programme local services had been cut, and more cuts were in the pipeline. I could not remain silent any longer. In 2013 I began on a steep learning curve discovering that the NHS had been quietly marketised, and corporatised since the Thatcher administration. Successive legislation had deformed the NHS which prepared it for the current phase of assaults. Introduction of an internal market, the Private Finance Initiative, the creation of Foundation Trusts, and ultimately the universal outsourcing enabled by the 2012 Health and Social Care Act, ensured the abandonment of the principles on which the NHS was founded. The destruction of the NHS, a most beloved public institution, is the ultimate conquest for neoliberalism.
In 2014 I produced the film ‘Sell Off’ to present the evidence to an unsuspecting public. Currently I am producing another film ‘The Great NHS Heist’. This outlines the processes which will hand over health budgets, patient data and NHS land and property to profiteers.
The destruction of the NHS, a most beloved public institution, is the ultimate conquest for neoliberalism.
The Naylor Review can leave nobody in any doubt that an NHS real estate ‘fire sale’ is the priority in the next Conservative Government. Incentives will drive the rapid disposal of assets, worsening our NHS bed capacity which is already at dangerously low levels. The engineered collapse of the NHS is killing thousands as evidenced by the Prof McKee and Dorling paper earlier this year. Deteriorations in survival and patient safety are the necessary drivers for the conversion to an American style insurance system. Richard Branson is already well placed with blanket advertising of his Virgin Vitality health plan.
Meanwhile, the chief architect of the accelerating demise of the NHS, and former United Health vice- President Simon Stevens, remains at the helm and largely out of the public consciousness. Stevens is enthusiastically enacting his dangerous Sustainability and Transformation Plans, which replace our extensive network of District General Hospitals and General Practices with fewer profit centres, designed to deliver the most lucrative medical treatments, to be funded out of pocket or by private insurance. His vision will effectively eradicate the provision of expensive and unprofitable care, such as A&E, intensive care, paediatrics, elderly care, and acute medical and surgical care.
His vision will effectively eradicate the provision of expensive and unprofitable care.
In his Five Year Forward view, he presents a utopian vision of an integrated healthcare system. This great deception hides the reality, that his proposals are identical to the dystopia of the American healthcare system. The blueprint of the American Health Maintenance Organisations introduced by Nixon in the 1970s, is designed to maximise profit while denying care. This is the future we seek to expose with our film, and we need your help to do this.
Latest posts by Bob Gill (see all)
- What you need to know about the Naylor Review of the NHS - June 6, 2017