Shocking figures published by Labour have shown that since the Tories and their LibDem allies pushed through their Health and Social Care Act, privatization has galloped away in the NHS.
That same act allowed more income from private patients treated in NHS hospitals. That’s now risen by 58% – while services for NHS patients have deteriorated.
If things are allowed to carry on as they are, with waiting times deteriorating and hospitals increasingly turning to Private Patient Income, then a two-tier system will emerge with those who can paying to get prompt access to treatment, while NHS patients are pushed to the back of the queue.
That’s why Andy Burnham has announced that Labour will scrap the Coalition’s NHS market and put new safeguards in place to ensure NHS patients are put first.
– by restoring the 2% ceiling on private patient income put in place by the last Labour Government
– by repealing the LibDem/Tory Coalition’s Act – scrapping the rules that force services out to tender and repealing the competition regime that is tying up hospitals in competition law
– and by capping the profits private companies can make if they deliver NHS services.
We give more details of what’s been happening – and of Labour’s plans – below.
The NHS cannot survive another five years of the Tories – or of Tory/LibDem Coalition which pushed this Act through.
Nobody gave them permission to privatize the NHS in the 2010 election.
Make sure that in the 2015 election we don’t risk the NHS in either of their hands again.
If you want to protect the NHS as we know it, use your vote to secure a Labour government. And if you really want to help keep the NHS safe, support the campaign for Alex Sobel to win here in Leeds NW – sign up now.
The figures Labour has revealed are stark.
Since the Tories and LibDems introduced their Health and Social Care Act, putting profits before patients:
· 40 per cent of all healthcare contracts have gone to private providers, highest proportion yet – and the same proportion of contracts have gone to the private sector as the public sector.
· Private healthcare companies are reported as seeing increasing “opportunities” in the NHS due to the LibDem/Tory Coalition’s privatisation agenda.
· At the same time the Tories have received over £20m in donations from 53 hedge funds with investments in private healthcare.
Since the abolition of the Private Patient Income cap – that’s the cap on the proportion of income an NHS trust can make from private patients – NHS patient care is suffering while Private Patient Income is growing:
· Average Private Patient Income per Foundation Trust is up 58 per cent since 2010, including a 17 per cent rise in the year the Tory-led Government abolished the Private Patient Income Cap.
· During the same period, waiting times for NHS patients, cancelled operations and bed occupancy rates have all got worse in Foundation Trusts, including:
• The proportion of Foundation Trusts not meeting the 18-week waiting-time standard has increased four-fold, from 10 per cent of FTs in May 2010 to 46 per cent of FTs in February 2015.
• o The bed occupancy rate for Foundation Trusts rose from 83.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2010/11 to 88.5 per cent in the third quarter of 2014/15 – higher than the recommended 85 per cent.
· And across the NHS services are going backwards, with the number of 4-hour waits in A&E up four-fold since 2010, waiting lists at their highest for seven years, and the two-month cancer treatment target now missed for a whole year.
As Andy Burnham said – David Cameron and his Tory/LibDem Coalition have put founding NHS principles under threat.
A Labour government will legislate to put NHS patients first and reverse the Tory privatisation of the NHS.
This will include:
· Tougher controls on Trusts’ Private Patient Income – to prevent the emergence of a two-tier healthcare system, where those who can pay for prompt access to treatment while waiting times lengthen for NHS patients; and,
· Measures to repeal the Tories’ market framework for the NHS and halt the drive towards privatisation.
To stop the growth of a two-tier system:
· Labour will introduce a two per cent limit on Private Patient Income, which trusts could only exceed if they are meeting strict safeguards to ensure NHS patients are put first
. · Trusts could not exceed this unless they were meeting key performance standards– including on waiting times– or were able to show explicitly how the extra income is part of a plan to get standards back on track for NHS patients .
To stop the drive to privatization
· Labour will repeal the Health and Social Care Act to scrap David Cameron’s NHS market. This will include scrapping the rules that force services out to tender and repealing the competition regime that is tying up hospitals in competition law.
· And where private companies are involved in delivering NHS-funded clinical services, Labour will cap the profits they can make from the NHS to ensure resources are spent on patient care.
Andy Burnham said that the Government has ‘not been honest with people about the scale and pace of privatisation on their watch. They’ve tried to play it down but these figures show they simply cannot be trusted with the NHS.
“It is shocking to see private companies winning just as many contracts as the NHS – and some with links to the Tory Party too.’
Following the Coalition’s decision ‘to allow hospitals to turn over up to half of their beds to private patients, the growing financial crisis in the NHS has seen many hospitals forced to treat more private patients in NHS beds too – while waiting times get worse for everyone else. This is clear proof that the profit motive is ripping through the NHS.’
And remember, the LibDems are in this up to the hilt. The Health and socail Care Act would not have passed without their support.
– At both second reading http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm110131/debtext/110131-0004.htm and third reading http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm110907/debtext/110907-0005.htm the Act was only passed because of combined Tory and LibDem votes.
The NHS cannot survive another five years of the Tories – or of Tory/LibDem coalition.
Nobody gave them permission to privatise the NHS.
Only by voting Labour can we stop the sell-off and put people before profits.