THE first thing about the McKinsey and Company report was that it was commissioned by the Brown government, at a great cost, and was kept secret by them until it was leaked to the Health Service Journal.
When you commission McKinsey to do a hatchet job, your are fairly well aware of what you are about to receive, and that it must be kept secret.
Denials after the event by junior ministers are no denials at all, but confirmation that some very dirty work is afoot – in fact, the destruction of the NHS as a service that provides free care at the point of need.
The report does contain the NHS Logo and has already been sent to senior NHS managers!
The McKinsey report recommendation to kill the NHS off comes out of the current crisis of the capitalist system, and the need of the bosses to dump its entire costs onto the backs of the workers, while the banks are preserved, however much it costs.
The Department of Health has been told that the NHS in England will need to slash its workforce by 137,000 to achieve its planned £20bn savings by 2014. The NHS is to lose 10 per cent of its workforce.
£1.2 trillion has been handed to the banks in gifts, loans and guarantees, while 137,000 workers are to lose their jobs and be thrust into penury to save £20bn!
The proposed cuts include 30,800 non-clinical posts, saving £600m; a £3bn saving from increased staff productivity in NHS hospitals; £1.9bn savings projected by cutting external contracts and cutting food costs; £1.3bn by cutting unneeded appointments and procedures; and £8.3bn will be saved by closing hospitals and selling their grounds.
McKinsey makes clear that it has clinical staff in its sights. It says the cut required to full time equivalents for an NHS hospital with a clinical staff of 300 would be: two consultants, one registrar, 10 nurses, 10 healthcare assistants, three allied health professionals and eight non-clinical staff!
There is to be a recruitment freeze and an early retirement programme ‘to be implemented in the next two years’ to encourage older community nurses and GPs to quit the NHS.
McKinsey stresses that plans to increase staffing levels and investment, such as those set out in the national stroke strategy and the children’s service strategy, must be ‘reviewed’.
Up to £600m could be saved by ‘losing’ 30,800 non-clinical staff on an average salary of £20,000.
This analysis was sent to senior managers weeks before NHS chief executive David Nicholson said publicly that the NHS must make up to £20bn in savings by 2013-14. It is the programme of the government and the Department of Health to smash the NHS.
McKinsey reveals that vital acute providers will be the hardest hit, with cuts equivalent to up to 38 per cent of their 2008-09 spending by 2013-14.
Acute care will be replaced by polyclinics!
The smallest savings are to be made to primary care, where spending will still be reduced by a massive 13 per cent.
Community care budgets will be cut by up to 28 per cent. So much for the care in the community that is to replace District General Hospitals!
This is a programme for having Mid-Staffordshire disasters everywhere.
As the Royal College of Nursing chief executive Peter Carter said: ‘These proposals are deeply worrying because recent studies show that there is a direct link between the number of nurses working on wards and patient deaths.’
The BMA at its recent annual meeting unveiled a campaign to defend the NHS against the privateers and the government. It must now be activated as a matter of the greatest urgency. The BMA, and all the TUC trade unions must mount a national campaign of demonstrations and rallies to defend the NHS and save it from destruction.
The BMA and the TUC must unite to defend the NHS and mobilise its tens of millions of users to make sure that the NHS is saved, and it is the privateers – and the governments that favour them – that go.