Everyone knew privatising the NHS wouldn’t work. Lots of people said so. But the government and the big health corporations wouldn’t listen. And now we’re the ones paying the consequences.
Circle Holdings, the first private healthcare operator to take over an NHS hospital trust has announced it’s pulling out of its ten-year contract. It says its franchise is ‘no longer viable under current terms’. We know what that means: it’s no longer making money.
It’s bad enough that a dearly needed hospital’s future is in jeopardy because of a misguided privatisation gamble. But the truth is much more grisly: the bosses installed by the private operator bullied staff and created a ‘blame culture.’ Circle pitted doctors against doctors and was willing to ensure local GPs incurred financial losses as long as it meant the corporation continued to make a profit. It’s time to stand up for our hospitals.
Tell our government to stop breaking up our health service and protect the NHS.
This is a glimpse into our future: private corporations managing hospitals based on what will be most profitable, rather than what will deliver the best care to patients. And, when the arrangement inevitably collapses, it’s the British people that will be left to pick up the pieces -- and pay the bill.
The only way to save the NHS is to fund it properly -- that’s what doctors want, it’s what patients want, and it’s what everyone wants -- the only ones who don’t want it are free-market ideologues who think that privatisation is a magic bullet that can save hospitals that are underfunded and understaffed.
Well, now we know that’s simply not true.
Defend the our health service and tell David Cameron to stop privatising the NHS.
Hinchingbrooke Hospital: Circle to withdraw from contract, BBC, January 9, 2015
Battle with GPs led to Circle’s retreat from Hinchingbrooke hospital, The Guardian, January 9, 2015
Hinchingbrooke staff in CQC 'abuse' concerns 'fear bosses', BBC, September 29, 2014