Critics warn of more privatisation as UnitedHealth leads firms seeking £1bn worth of contracts
A handful of consultancy firms and a health insurance giant bidding for NHS contracts have been operating a discreet forum at which they receive regular briefings from senior health service managers charged with ushering in the new era of competition among its providers. The revelation has raised fears that the NHS is falling victim to a land grab by a few powerful business interests.
Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the campaign group Spinwatch shine a light on the workings of an obscure group whose existence and limited membership has alarmed campaigners who want the NHS to remain public.
The Commissioning Support Industry Group (CSIG) is largely unknown to outsiders. Its members are jockeying to win an estimated £1bn of contracts advising the new doctor-led clinical commissioning groups that will be responsible for spending more than two-thirds of the NHS budget on purchasing patient care.
Mike McNamara's insight:
Why are so many secrets being kept from the taxpayer and how many of the NHS staff involoved in these discussions will end up with jobs at the private compnaies?
SHAMELESS Alex Neil and Nicola Sturgeon were urged to explain themselves or resign last night over a secretive attempt to privatise the Scottish NHS by the back door.
The angry response comes as this newspaper today exposes a long-running campaign to manipulate health board spending figures to hide the full extent of private sector involvement.
Ministers boast that only £80million of hospital funding is privatised but in fact almost £500million went to “sub-contractors” last year – almost five per cent of Holyrood’s annual NHS budget.
These third parties include commercial firms, voluntary organisations and councils, in order to fund care for the elderly, people with mental health issues and learning disabilities, and community care.
Councils are increasingly bringing in the private sector to help meet needs in each of these areas – a fact that is acknowledged and even encouraged by the Scottish Government.
UK medical printing specialist Replica 3DM is converting CT scans into models NHS surgeons can test implants on
Replica 3DM was started about two years ago. To start with it provided Salisbury District Hospital with a medical 3D-printing service in a new department.
"We wanted to set up a 3D-printing hub for hospitals who can't afford the 3D-printing equipment or can't justify it as their 3D model numbers are so low," Replica 3DM managing director Matthew Sherry told IBTimes UK.
Most people shun cycling despite active travel campaigns.
A third of people in Wales use walking as a means of transport “infrequently or not at all,” a report revealed yesterday
Meanwhile, another third had not walked or cycled for at least five minutes in the previous seven days, despite a flagship Welsh Government policy is to encourage active travel to improve public health.
The findings demonstrated the challenge for the campaign and the new active travel act which legally obliges local councils to plan for walking and cycling.
Official figures showed that among those aged 16 and over last year, just 6% had cycled at least once a week in the previous three months.
Steven Williams spent eight days at Southmead Hospital in Bristol after having an operation on his feet but was dismayed with the quality and size of meals he was given.
Mike McNamara's insight:
I wonder how much Simon Wood, Director of Facilities at North Bristol NHS Trust really has an understanding of what is going on in his hospital. Does he eat hospital food every day to check on the quality, I expect not.
A woman’s body was found in Whitlingham Lake, near Norwich, 14 days after she was discharged from a psychiatric hospital, an inquest heard.
Lisa Pollini, 47, was last seen on March 18 after being driven to her home in Lobelia Lane, Cringleford by a member of staff at Northgate Hospital in Great Yarmouth.
Yesterday’s Norwich inquest heard that her movements after that were unknown. The inquest heard that when Miss Pollini was discharged from the hospital, which is run by the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, she told staff that she would be supported by her family.
PROTESTERS are pledging to fight tooth and nail against plans to move consultant-led maternity services out of Stafford Hospital.
And they say the controversial move makes a mockery of assurances given bye Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and University Hospital of North Staffordshire chief executive Mark Hackett that a “double lock” of reviews would take place to scrutinise changes before any service was moved out of Stafford.
Terminally ill Ashya King was found with his parents Brett and Naghmeh King outside a Spanish hotel last night, following a Europe-wide search.
The five-year-old terminally ill boy snatched from an NHS hospital was being treated by doctors in Malaga today as British police faced questions over the handling of the case.
Ashya King, who has a brain tumour, was found with his Jehovah's Witness parents Brett and Naghmeh King by police last night, following a Europe-wide search, described by Mr King as a 'ridiculous chase' as he asked to be 'left in peace'.
However, Hampshire Police's Assistant Chief Constable Chris Shead, said he makes 'no apology for the police being as proactive as we can to find Ashya, as medical experts had expressed 'grave concern' for the missing boy.
Mike McNamara's insight:
Amazing reaction to a heartfelt problem facing the parents. Don't think that Hampshire Police or Southampton Hosptial comes out of this 'dragnet' with any positive points at all!
NICE has called for more evidence from Boehringer Ingelheim on its drug empagliflozin for treating type 2 diabetes in new draft guidance.
Type 2 diabetes is a long-term, progressive condition that causes blood sugar levels to become too high.
It occurs when the body is not able to use or produce enough insulin – the hormone that controls blood sugar levels and fat metabolism in the body. Many people with diabetes eventually need help to manage their blood sugar levels.
Empagliflozin (marketed as Jardiance) works by blocking the reabsorption of glucose in the kidneys which is instead passed out of the body in the urine. It is an oral, once-daily medication belonging to a class of drugs called sodium glucose co-transporter (SGLT-2) inhibitors.
Physician associates will have two years of intensive training, as opposed to seven years completed by fully fledged doctors. The government is launching a recruitment drive to hire more doctors' assistants to try to help take pressure off a...
Health chiefs in Birmingham have warned people to avoid hospital A&Es over the Bank Holiday weekend unless facing ‘‘a life threatening emergency’’.
People are instead being advised to go to nearby urgent care and walk-in centres across the city.
Dr Gavin Ralston, of Birmingham CrossCity CCG, which runs NHS services, said: “The summer bank holiday is happily nearly here and the last thing anyone wants to do is spend it in A&E.
“People sometimes think A&E is the quickest place to get treatment, however there are lots of other services available that can advise on and treat non-life threatening illnesses and injuries more quickly. These include GP out-of-hours services, urgent care and walk-in centres, NHS 111 and pharmacies.