Sunday, 17 August 2014

Privatised NHS just doesn't work for patients

As last week's news about botched cataract operations in Somerset and the withdrawal of Serco from the health care market demonstrate, there is something fundamentally flawed in thinking that privatisation of the NHS is in anyway sensible. And while the NHS does make mistakes, it is at least accountable to the public rather than shareholders. Let us hope that the privatisation of cancer services in Staffordshire ends before anyone suffers at the hands of the profiteers.

Private companies will never be a substitute for the public sector providers in the NHS. Private companies can cherry pick pieces of care that have been over-priced but that leaves other providers with work that is under-funded. It also leaves a system that is fragmented and run by contracts, costing £billions in management time.

As a long term member of the Keep Our NHS Public campaign, I am proud to see a series of policy motions that start with a call to repeal the 2012 Health and Social Care Act and for the rejection of personal budgets at the party conference in a few weeks. I intend to speak on these and they are central to returning our NHS to a service for people not profit.

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