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The News Line: News NHS MULTI-BILLION SUPPORT SERVICES GRAB A NEW list of approved suppliers to the NHS has heightened fears of a multi-billion pound land grab by a handful of corporations.

Competition for contracts to supply support services to the GP-led commissioning groups will be dominated by management consultancies, outsourcing giant Capita, and the US health insurer UnitedHealth.

Doctor Jacky Davis, founder member of Keep Our NHS Public said yesterday that ‘Dracula has been put in charge of the blood bank.’

She was referring to the publication of a new list of approved suppliers to the NHS which has heightened fears of a multi-billion pound grab by a handful of corporations.

Davis said: ‘Andrew Lansley (former health secretary) promised GPs they would be in the driving seat, but the reality is that instead of handing the power and the money to GPs his reforms have handed them to corporations.

‘This announcement marks the final step in giving the private sector the power, influence and a big slice of the NHS budget.

‘There is now a massive conflict of interest with private companies like UnitedHealth, KPMG and McKinsey in charge of the GPs’ budget and increasingly buying care from the self-same private sector.’

Davis said the NHS market was already estimated to be costing the English NHS between £5bn and £10bn a year.

These companies (and others) will supply GP commissioners with key services that have until now been done by the NHS for the NHS: planning services; managing relationships and contracts with healthcare providers, like hospitals; and crucially deciding what the NHS will look like in the future – what NHS England calls ‘transformation and service redesign’.

GP groups will be forced to re-procure a lot of these services by April 2016 (apparently in order to comply with EU procurement law).

It is thought that, consequently, between £3-5 billion of services will be bought through these consortia.

The privatisation of commissioning hands the private sector more power, and potentially a lot more of the NHS budget.
 
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