‘Voting for the end of the NHS’

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‘ANY MP who votes for the Health and Social Care Bill next week is voting for the end of the NHS,’ said Christina McAnea, Unison Head of Health yesterday.

Her comment follows revelations in leaked emails from senior officials at the Department of Health, discussing plans to bring in international companies to take over the management of 10 to 20 NHS hospitals.

Christina McAnea, went on to say: ‘Regardless of what Cameron and Clegg say in public, it is clear that behind the scenes the government is planning to privatise the NHS.

‘Private companies will only run hospitals if they see a profit in it.

‘This, together with lifting the cap off the number of private patients NHS hospitals can treat, will completely change the culture of the NHS.

‘It will be profits before patients.

‘The move to any qualified provider is clearly about creating a market for private companies.’

The emails show that consulting firm McKinsey was acting as a broker between the Department of Health (DoH) and ‘international players’ for contracts worth hundreds of millions of pounds.

One email to Ian Dalton, head of provider development at the DoH, who is heavily involved in the government’s ‘reform’ programme, in November last year talks about ‘interest in new solution for 10-20 hospitals but starting from a mindset of one at a time with various political constraints’.

Another email from McKinsey says: ‘International players can do an initiative if 500 million revenue (is) on the table.’ They also need to have ‘a free hand on staff management’. The NHS would be allowed to ‘keep real estate and pensions’.