On a scale unlike anywhere else, Ealing’s health bosses intend to contract out most of the services they run. The Contract will last for 10 years and is under offer to private health companies or any NHS management team. Whoever wins, it’s a type of privatisation on a massive scale.
Ealing Clinical Commissioning Group (the CCG, Ealing’s NHS bosses) have issued figures showing this ten year contract will be worth initially half a billion pounds but possibly reaching 1.2 billion of our NHS money. We believe this is an outrage – there is no public support for NHS privatisation, yet Ealing seems to be in the front line.
There is no explanation of how the running of such a huge contract would be accountable to the public or how there would be any transparency on spending or running of services, nor is there any evidence of experience in monitoring such a huge contract. Questions to the CCG on any of this are met with silence or evasion.
The Health Bosses want to award this 10-year contract to a single provider, who would run all community health services, and some social care too. Community nursing, palliative care, diabetes, specialist children’s nursing, older peoples services, mental health, physiotherapy, wards at Clayponds Hospital and much more will be included. The contractor would then be expected to develop these services so that they can somehow ‘substitute’ for hospital beds – something that has never worked anywhere in the world.
As we write this, nine NHS Trusts and eight private NHS providers have already shown some interest, including Virgin Care!
This is a disaster – we won’t Stay Silent! Please support Ealing Save Our NHS campaign to keep our NHS truly public. Contact your MP and ask them to highlight and publicly oppose what’s happening. Council elections are coming up – what do the candidates say – put them on the spot : Questions to Candidates in the Ealing Council Elections
As the saying goes – you don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone!
Does Privatisation make a Difference? – Here are some recent examples
The Health & Social Care Act 2012 opened the doors to private companies to bid to run any NHS service and they have grasped the opportunity to win billions of pounds worth of contracts by undercutting the NHS and worsening the quality of care.
The healthcare market that has been created is a huge waste of public money costing us somewhere between £5 and £10 Billion – part of this cost comes from the management & legal costs of the contracting out process and the growing list of failures.
It’s a 10 year contract so no going back for more money and a lot can happen in 10 years. So if the single provider is a private company and isn’t making enough money for their shareholders, or if it is a NHS Trust or Consortium and they just can’t afford to run the contract anymore, then they can just pull out and the local NHS has to pick up the bill. There is plenty of evidence that this can happen but here are a few examples –
Collapse of Private Transport Service – NW London:
The ‘Private Transport Service’ which ran patient transport for London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust (which includes Ealing Hospital) ceased trading in October 2017. The Trust was given only two days’ notice of the loss of this service causing additional costs for the NHS and considerable distress for patients needing to use the Service to get to and from hospital appointments.
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Older Peoples Services Contract:
This was an extremely high profile contract due to its considerable value, worth £700 – £800 million over five years for the provision of older people’s services for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG. The Contract was eventually won by a consortium of NHS providers called ‘Uniting Care Partnership’ after all private bidders withdrew as there was not enough profit. However Uniting Care Partnership terminated the contract early as it wasn’t financially viable and the NHS was left with unfunded costs of £16 Million which had to be shared by the CCG and the Trusts involved!
Hinchingbrooke and Circle:
In January 2015, Circle the private company running Hinchingbrooke Hospital pulled out of the contract after just two years of a ten year contract. The company announcement came just before the publication of a damning report on the hospital from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) however Circle cited financial reasons for pulling out. The contract allowed Circle to withdraw if it had to invest more than £5 million of its own money in the hospital, which looked extremely likely.
Staffordshire Cancer Care Contract:
This was a ten year contract worth over £690million. The CCGs were seeking a single provider to co-ordinate and contract providers for cancer care in Staffordshire. After the problems with the Cambridge & Peterborough Older Persons Contract it was put on hold and restarted in 2017 with only 1 private consortium left led by Interserve whose bid was found not to be financially viable. Although the contract failed to begin it managed to cost the NHS around £840,000.
The West Sussex MSK contract
This £235 million contract for provision of musculoskeletal services in West Sussex with Coastal West Sussex CCG was awarded to BUPA and social enterprise CSH Surrey in September 2014. However it never begun once it was determined just how much damage the contract would do to other NHS services in the region. BUPA and CSH Surrey withdrew in Jan 2015 before the contract was signed.
Our Hospitals Trust Could be at Risk.
Currently most of the community health services are run by our local NHS Trust, London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust. If they lost the contract they would also lose about 7% of their income and other services could be at risk. Our NHS staff should be spending their time focusing on patient care instead many hours will have to be spent restructuring services, pouring over spreadsheets and drawing up bids to try and win this contract.
As you can see It’s no wonder that Ealing Save Our NHS is worried and opposed to these plans.
Please check out our website for more updates as the picture unfolds and our Campaign develops.