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Leaks show US multinationals now directing doctors’ commissioning groups

Disaster-looms-for-NHS_large-e1308062563878Evidence has now been leaked which proves that big healthcare corporations, including some of the biggest US healthcare multinationals, are now taking the lead in directing GPs’ clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in allocating the £80bn NHS budget at their disposal. The previously unknown Commissioning Support Industry Group (CSIG) has been seeking to win contracts worth some £1bn for advising CCGs on purchasing patient care.

Those awarded these contracts will be involved in drug purchasing, negotiating hospital contracts, outsourcing services to the private sector, and (ominously) patient care reforms. The leaks show that United Health, the huge US health insurer which significantly previously employed Simon Stevens, now NHS England’s chief executive and formerly of Blair’s office, actually chairs this group, provides its secretariat, and recently covered the funding for senior UK health managers to visit its care centres in the US and to “explore their applicability in the UK”. What has also been uncovered is that all the big consultancies – KPMG, Capita, McKinsey, Ernst & Young, and PWC – are all members of CSIG.

Interestingly also, United Health’s lobbyist, Dr. Chris Exeter, helps to co-ordinate CSIG activities, and he previously worked for Sally Low, the wife of Andrew Lansley, the architect of the Health & Social Care Act 2012 which initiated the current wholesale privatisation. It is also notable that all CSIG’s meetings, which began 16 months ago, are unminuted. What all this reveals is the network secretly operating between Ministers and the privatisers – the big 5 management consultants, multinational private companies, and officials running the health service.

Ministers have always argued that GPs were going to be at the heart of decision-making in the NHS. This is now shown to be just a facade: the real decisions will be taken by multi-national management consultants and private companies. But what is even more disturbing than this deceit is the conflict of interest: CSIG will not only be advising on the commissioning of services from private companies, they will also then be advising on the purchase of healthcare from those same private companies.

Predictably the two commercial providers competing for the key lead provider role are Capita and a United Health-led consortium which includes its lobbying agency Hanover Media as well as KPMG and BT. The leaked emails also show that CSIG members have regular access to top NHS officials and routinely hold bi-monthly meetings in particular with Bob Ricketts, director of commissioning support services and market development at NHS England. In other words, NHS England has been explicitly created by the government to facilitate from the inside the wholesale outsourcing of NHS services, and GPs’ CCGs are just a cover for the real privatising operations going on over their heads.

3 Comments

  1. David Melvin says:

    So what’s the Labour party going to do about it Michael? Not a lot I suspect.

    1. Michael says:

      David Labour Have pledged to repeal (get rid of) the health care bill & stop the creeping NHS privatisation, they have been shouting about reversing the Bill from day 1 but main stream media don’t broadcast tthat information…

      1. David Melvin says:

        Fair enough Michael, but are not the consultancies you refer to already very close to some of your Shadow cabinet colleagues? I fear the proposed bill you refer to will be to little to late, but the best of luck anyway.

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