A shocking investigation by Unite has revealed that a scandalous £1.5bn has left our NHS and gone straight in to the pockets of 15 private companies linked to 23 Tory MPs and Peers.
Many of these MPs and Peers have personally benefited from the combination of their links to private healthcare and the sell-off.
Since the health and social care act was passed in 2012, 70 per cent of NHS contracts have been gradually sold-off.
Health and social care act explained
The health and social care act is the biggest structural upheaval to the NHS in its 66 years. It opens our NHS to the competitive market and allows foundation trusts to prioritise private paying patients at the expense of NHS patients. It is estimated that the reforms have cost up to £3bn so far.
Under the coalition’s current spending policy the NHS’s funding shortfall is £30bn. The NHS faces running out of money in five to six years’ time.
“This is a national scandal and the Tories must be held to account,” said Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary. “The government had no mandate to sell-off our NHS but they did just that. You have to ask yourself why?”
BMI Healthcare is the UK’s largest chain of private hospitals and has secured revenue worth £24m from NHS contracts. Among those Tory MPs and Peers linked to BMI Healthcare is none other than leader of the Conservative party, David Cameron himself.
“It is no wonder that calls to protect the NHS from TTIP, a EU-US trade deal that threatens to make the sell-off of the NHS permanent, are being ignored by the Tories,” continued Len McCluskey.
Former health secretary Baroness Bottomley is a director of International Resources Group Ltd, linked to private healthcare firm Bupa. Baroness Bottomley voted on the health Bill and when speaking at a health Bill reading said ‘I give this Bill an unequivocal and extraordinarily warm welcome.’ Bupa has benefited from £245m of NHS contracts.
Scrap the health and social care act
“Since the vote to sell-off our NHS £12bn of our services are now in private hands. Key clinical services including cancer care, blood analysis and mental health have been sold off or are up for sale. It is time to scrap the health and social care act and save our NHS,” added Len.
Care UK was awarded £660m in NHS contracts. Its former chairman Lord Nash and wife Caroline have gifted £247,250 in total to Conservative MPs. This includes former health secretary Andrew Lansley who received £21,000 to run his office from Caroline Nash. Andrew Lansley co-wrote the health and social care Bill.
Workers at Care UK are currently striking over wage cuts and attacks on working conditions which have been under threat since their NHS jobs were transferred to the private sector last year. On Friday October 10 it will make history as the longest running strike in the NHS at 81 days.
“We know first-hand what privatisation means. We are seeing the drop in standards that comes with privatisation, the loss of qualified and dedicated staff and people paid the minimum wage,” said Roger Hutt, a Care UK striker.
William Hague, ‘the greatest living Yorkshireman’ according to David Cameron, received donations from Bruce Ferguson MacFarlane, founding member of MMC. MMC part-owns The Practice Plc. The Practice has secured £636,275 of NHS contracts and runs 60 GP surgeries.
The £1bn is only a proportion of the total value that continues to rise as a result of the health and social care act. Millions of pounds gained by private companies from NHS contracts with links to Tories are still to be unearthed.
“The next election will be make or break for our NHS. It is clear what Cameron’s preferred path is – an American-style health system,” added Mr McCluskey.
Private companies now profiting from the delivery of NHS services include Boots, Capita, Care UK, Carrilion, G4S, Lloyds, Sainsbury’s, Serco and Virgin Care.
The 23 Tory MPs and Lords include, the prime minister David Cameron, Andrew Lansley, Jo Johnson, William Hague and Nadhim Zahawi, Nick Herbert, David Ruffley, Chris Skidmore, Mark Simmonds, Nicholas Soames, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Kwasi Kwarteng. Also, Baron Higgins of Worthing, Baroness Cumberledge, Baroness Wheatcroft, Baroness Bottomley, Lord Freeman, Lord Popat, Lord Patten, Lord Glendonbrook and Baroness James of Holland Park.
Unite asks for the NHS
• Public providers to be the only providers in the NHS
• David Cameron’s health and social care act 2012 repealed
• End to the competitive market
• More funding and better investment
• Health and social carefully joined up with better funding
• No more sacked nurses, no charges creeping in, no two-tier health system – ¬no privatisation
• Get active with Unite
Stop the sell-off of our NHS – take action
• Unite is working with the NHS Support Federation to map the spread of privatisation across England.
• Join a local NHS campaign group in your community
• Write to your constituency MP and share the facts
• Join Unite