Over a quarter of Tory councilors support further privatisation of the NHS

Reforms by this government have already seen huge increases in the amount of private patient income brought in by NHS hospitals

NHS GP surgery


The Tories’ plans for the NHS include a double deceit. Not only will they double the pace of cuts next year, putting the health service in crisis, but they cannot say where a single penny of promised extra spending will come from.

And today, new research by the Labour party shows a mood in the Tory party which will dismay supporters of the NHS. A survey of Tory councilors on their plans for future funding shows that more than a quarter are willing to admit they support plans for further changes and privatisation.

Out of 115 respondents to an email sent by Labour students:

 A total of 26 support introducing charges for NHS services

·A further 12 support privatisation or increased use of the private sector

Another six want to make cuts to the NHS

This is significant because the current cohort of Conservative councilors is likely to make up a large part of the next crop of Conservative MPs.

Labour students asked the councilors whether spending on the NHS could continue to increase in the next parliament, whether a spending ring-fence is sustainable over the long-term, what the role of the private sector in the NHS should be, and whether the government should consider charging for some NHS services in the future.

Here are some extracts from the responses:

“Means testing is emotive so is queue jumping. But in our present state both seem to me to be fairly acceptable.”

“We cannot carry on providing universal free services for all manner of peripheral pseudo conditions.”

“I feel that we should encourage and support the private sector.”

One councilor seemed to express support for allowing foreign contractors to access the NHS – something that many anti-TTIP campaigners have long been concerned about:

“I firmly believe a successful 21st century NHS must play a role in commissioning healthcare with external partner in the private sector and even abroad.”

The Tories’ extreme spending plans take total spending to 36.0 per cent of GDP in 2019/20. OECD data shows that all of those countries which have levels of public spending at 36 per cent or less as a share of GDP have greater out-of-pocket expenditure as a share of final household consumption than the UK.

A recent letter to the Guardian, signed by more than 100 healthcare professionals, stated that government reforms in 2012 have led to ‘the rapid and unwanted expansion of the role of commercial companies in the NHS’.

Freedom of Information requests by the Labour Party have revealed that this government’s reforms, including the lifting of the Private Patient Income PPI cap have seen NHS hospitals increase their private patient income by some 10 per cent since 2010. This has seen some hospitals increase their private income by up to 40 per cent.

Speaking at the launch of Labour’s NHS week today, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham will say:

“This is the real face of the Tory Party. They have let the cat out of the bag – five more years of David Cameron means more NHS privatisation and charging.

“It is clear that, just like last time, Cameron’s NHS promises have an expiry date of election day stamped on them. He promised no top-down reorganisation and brought forward the biggest-ever top-down reorganisation. If he gets back in, the NHS will be sunk by a toxic mix of cuts and privatisation.”

Ruby Stockham is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow her on Twitter

33 Responses to “Over a quarter of Tory councilors support further privatisation of the NHS”

  1. AlanGiles

    “And today, new research by the Labour party shows a mood in the Tory party which will dismay supporters of the NHS……respondents to an email sent by Labour students…..”

    Well, nice to have your prejudices and scaremongering endorsed by such an impartial source 🙂

    Seriously this is really desperate stuff

  2. Jim Bennett


  3. Leon Wolfeson

    Right, there’s some research done which is “desperate” in showing some of your anti-NHS views.

    Oh dear, you’re rumbled!

  4. Chris Oakley

    I am also interested in this apparent 40% rise in private income for some NHS hospitals. Is it a big number in real terms or are you just using the percentage to make it sound impressive? Do NHS patients benefit from it? You are typically selective with your statistics but I am genuinely intrigued and would like to know more.

    So away from facts, perhaps you could explain exactly what is wrong with a model that allows people who can afford to contribute to do so whilst protecting the services to those who cannot? Insurance contributions are the norm in most European countries, many of which operate systems that have health outcomes better than those in the UK.

    Is there not a risk that by taking a reactionary position on a 70 year old idea, we might be missing opportunities to create a better system for all? I don’t know if that is the case but I do find the absence of true debate on the subject quite depressing.

    The Tories are too cowardly to be doing what you claim. They are terrified by NHS privitisation. It will be a brave government indeed that admits that times have changed and that we need to at least consider all our options.

  5. Faerieson

    What’s the matter with you? Are you really suffering under the delusion that the NHS isn’t under serious attack! Have you not bothered to listen to the many voices of concern, the numbers of top doctors desperate to warn the nation?

    Privatising sections of the Service is tantamount to reaching a halfway house- half way to abolishion- much like selling off council homes to the then-tennants opened up a huge market for future landlords. And look where we are now, as a result.

    Or don’t! Pretend everything’s hunky dory!

  6. AlanGiles

    I remember Kinnock’s “Jennifers ear” I remember Blair’s “24 hours to save the NHS” (and it ended up getting into mor trouble with the heavy extensiion of PFI), we have heard it all before. Mrs Thatcher had two landslides and did’nt privatise the NHS. The next government whoever it will be, will have such a small majority (if it has one at all) that it won’t be able to do anything drastic. I really can’t be bothered what “Labour students” say – this is NHS week on the Miliband campaign so everybody is trying to leap on the bandwaggon. It is a publicity stunt and a rather tawdry one at that.

    P.S: Anyone remember Burnham’s “NHS Global” – has it been forgotten, or is Labour privatisation somehow more “pure”?

  7. AlanGiles

    You’re a prat

  8. Faerieson

    I’m not sure if your comments are provocation, disinterest, or boredom based. If you are as cynical about politics as you appear I can understand where you’re coming from. However, it seems more likely that you’re deliberately seeking to cloud the major issue behind a directionless tirade of simmering venom.

    The worry is that you’re, by default, presenting the issue as a bit of a joke. And I thought I was disillusioned…

  9. Leon Wolfeson

    And you’re a capitalist Tory.

  10. Leon Wolfeson

    Those “insurance”-based (primarily funded in most cases by wage levy) systems involve much higher spending levels on health than the UK, and most go to great lengths to defend the ability of the poor to access services. Those that don’t, like France, have a problem with people not going to the doctor until they require expensive treatment, something also seen with dentistry in the UK. This would be far worse here, given the massive levels of poverty we’re seeing. We’d end up paying far more for any kind of barrier for treatment.

    Your model is also quite different to insurance-based models, and ignoring the massive usability and cost issues would primarily raise healthcare costs for the middle class. The idea that there needs to be a massive new layer of bureaucracy, costing billions, to check at every level for the need to pay (as you’re placing that directly on the NHS) – inevitably making errors and delaying treatment for some, to their cost – is in no way a better system.

    And rot – the Tories are busy privatising critical services, while allowing companies to hand them back with no significant penalty if they find the margins are not high enough!

  11. Leon Wolfeson

    He’s a Tory, of course he thinks things are fine.

  12. Chris Oakley

    It isn’t my model.

    What is your evidence for French people putting off visiting health care providers? Happy to read it as I agree it is a relevant issue.

    Many people argue that EC countries such as France have better healthcare outcomes than the UK so perhaps that is a price the middle class would be prepared to pay, given the opportunity to contribute to a better funded healthcare system.

  13. AlanGiles

    I have several problems: I get sick to death of the sanctimonous faux concern over welfare claimants. Duncan-Smith is poision, but everyone here seems to have short memories and forget that it was Purnell who introduced the Freud reforms in full after describing the ignorant Freud as a “welfare expert” – which we all know he wasn’t. Then, we have Rachel Reeves aying she will be “tougher than the Tories” on welfare. Were Labour lying then, are Labour lying now or are they just congenital liars?

    Burnham was happy in Any Question broadcasts just after the 2010 election to point out that he had instituted the privatisation of the NHS. Now he is totally against it. Is he?. Do we believe Burnham. Or not?

    I get the impression of a desperate shambolic Labour leader who will say or do anything just to win – not for the good of the country but to repair his own damaged ego.He keeps saying he wants to be the first Jewish PM so what does he do? – he (tries) to eat a bacon sandwich in public. Is the guy for real?. It is a shambling display of amateurism, incompetence and hypocrisy.

    And finally the floorshow presented by “Leon Wolfeson” or “Guest” as he sometimes calls himself on this site. He insults with his few puerile little insults “Lord Blagger” (Christ is that stupid remark overdone?) or “You’re a Tory”, follwed up with personal insults and suggestions of Anti-Semitism He does it so often including answering his own LW posts with one of his “Guest” rants. To borrow from Groucho Marx, who would want to belong to a club that would have that fool as a member?

  14. Faerieson

    Well, I don’t have the kind of selective memory to which you refer. I recognised the well-deserved distrust of Blair and Brown governments, throughout their respective terms. By relinquishing quite so much control to the likes of Campbell and Mandleson, New Labour forfit their soul some time during early infancy. Indeed, I believe that the moment Blair floated- like the worse kind of oily residue- to the surface, marked easily the steepest decline in the Labour movement.

    Opportunists like Purnell and the duplicitous David Freud- entirely with his own agenda- were indeed poison to the movement, as Freud’s defection confirms.

    The likes of Reeves and Burnham were surely incubated in some sort of media-fuelled tank, entirely for the purposes of attempting to appease a predominantly hostile media. Which harks back to the Campbell-Mandleson ideology, one based more upon exposure-hours than policy. And, isn’t this really where the root of the problem lies, heavily with this septic ability of a wealthy-non-dom-tax-exile press to dictate policy through selective misinformation?

    You have stated that IDS is poison- which is undoubtedly the case- but is he so very much worse than Gove, or Hunt, a man who was effectively charged with the task of insider-trading-away even more of the UK’s media? Now he’s charged with what? In a better parallel world, Hunt is surely locked away more safely and appropriately in a small concrete cell!

    But, underlying all of this, there still remains the health of a nation. Accessible to all as required, or increasingly for profit? To be run by those whose foremost concern is good health or those who prioritise healthy profit?

  15. Leon Wolfeson

    Again, those EC countries spend a heck of a lot more overall. And it’s not the middle class who would be expected to shoulder the burden, is it?

  16. Guest

    Burnham actually said he’d made a mistake back then.

    You keep on attacking Labour, to promote the Tories, as you note you don’t want even faux concern about welfare claimants. Then you hate on students and eduction, right.

    As you whine about Jews Lord Blagger, running around screaming when I call you out by name, spewing your insults as you try and deny clear truths about your views and posts. You don’t even understand what “guest” is on Disqus, of course, as you lie as usual. And wow, one post without attacking pensions, it’s amazing! Did you forget about the “unpayable” debt as you try and get this Jew censored once again?

    You’re a frothing Tory ranter, no more.

  17. Faerieson

    Burnham ‘is’ a mistake!

  18. AlanGiles

    The problem is that the PLP still has far too many Blarites within it. Frank Field is Duncan-Smith’s “czar” for one example. I think Smith IS worse than Gove or Hunt – not much but a bit too doctrinaire (and a shocking expenses swindler to go with it).

    I am afraid that Miliband does not have the strength of character (or experience) to cope with thiss and he will still be a prisoner of the right-wing Tory Lites

  19. AlanGiles

    I have NEVER even discussed pensions on this site or any other you great deluded halfwitted idiot. Why don’t you go and play somewhere where they would appreciate your idiotic interjections

  20. Chris Oakley

    I am going to take a wild guess that you have no more evidence as to who shoulders the burden, or if it even exists, than you do for your assertion that France has a cost related problem with people not going to the doctor. Again, I am happy to be enlightened if you can provide some.

    I agree that the UK system is less expensive than that of comparable EC countries such as France and Germany.

  21. Guest

    So you’ve agree they cost more but now say it’s an assertion.

    Right, stopping reading there. No point.

  22. Guest

    NEVER, Lord Blagger, right, as you scream “JEWS R ”

    Why won’t this Jew be censored by you. Why won’t this Jew accept your Anti-Semitism and be silent, when you last week were whining here about pensions, Lord Blagger.

    You’re a far right fanatic, it’s increasingly clear, I appologise to the Tories for calling you one. All you do is froth and hate people here on this particular username/personality, right.

  23. Guest

    Yes, those evil Leftists. Fields actually tries to do good, unlike IDS, right.

    And yes yes, Miliband hasn’t gone nearly far right enough, he’s held back from his true Right Wing destiny…

    So predictable, LB.

  24. Leon Wolfeson

    Maybe (not entirely fond of him myself), but he fessed up on this one.

  25. Chris Oakley

    Agreed. If one is incapable of correctly interpreting simple sentences, then it is best not to read them at all. It only leads to frustration and tantrums. G

  26. Leon Wolfeson

    Actually, yes, I think IDS is worse.

    IDS’s reforms, which have been accepted in principle, stand to do a lot of damage in the longer term. Gove’s reforms at least will be easy to reverse, and some kind of compensation is possible, if expensive. The sort of poverty, ill health and damage IDS has caused, with the badly designed Universal Credit, which Labour will only “review…”

    Hunt…has just mostly scrapped billions of investment in the UK, small fry compared to the others. Lots of damage to creative media, but the networks have formed again outside the government and there’s little more he can do now there to creative media.

    IDS is up there with the individual voting reforms which are slashing the voting roster so radically. And remember, Parliamentary constituencies are set not by population, but by registered voters – you’re seeing mass gerrymandering.

  27. Guest

    Right. Thanks for admitting your issues and moving on from there.

    Back in reality, the NHS has a lot less funding than the continental systems, as a % GDP,

  28. AlanGiles

    This must be a joke site if they allow your neurotic bullshit to remain on site. You accuse me of things I have never done, and can be easily checked, but obviously you rant and are not compos mentis to check your facts

  29. Faerieson

    Yes, Frank Field and Tory Welfare Reform; you really couldn’t make it up, could you? If we think back to the ‘expenses farce’ we might well label most of the election options as criminally unsuited to public office. ‘Fortunate’ indeed for so many MPs, that they were able to get away with ‘policing’ themselves.

    But we are still saddled with the NHS issue, aren’t we? It isn’t going to go away, unless quite literally! And it would appear that there really are an increasing number of wrongly-termed-public-servants now pushing along these lines.

    Hunt’s track record, prior to the NHS, would more than imply that he’s not to be trusted… and is this not even worse than suspected dubious competence? Oh, the woeful state of ‘democratic accountability!’ Neither should we trust anyone who may have helped usher in Blair’s Satanic PFIs, so where to go? On one side there are those who have already proven their unworthiness, on the other those in who we have little faith, who have yet to prove their unworthiness!

  30. AlanGiles

    Yes, true. Despite what “Guest” says below, Field is only in post because he tells Smith what he wants to hear. I understand he has been courted more than once to become a Tory. He was a great pal of Mrs Thatcher.

    I think the truth of the matter is, however simpatico Cameron or Burnham or Hunt – whomever it might be – are to the NHS they base their knowledge on what they see, and obviously if a well known politician comes into A & E with a sick child or adult, it will automatically be the case they go to the front of the queue.

    I honestly think the politicication of health, policing and education and the constant changes have done both far more harm than anything else to the morale and operation of all three.

  31. Leon Wolfeson

    “UR MAD JEW” you scream over and over, Lord Blagger. It’s trivial to verify your attacks, as you lie as usual.

    Ah yes, it’s a joke site, if a Jews posting – automatically “neurotic bullshit” to you – is not immediately censored, for your greater suppression of all inconvenient facts.

    You’re a far right fanatic, it’s clear.

  32. Guest

    Keep highlighting how much better even Field is than you.
    And yes, they know more about the NHS for you, and I’m sure you’ve jumped the queue.

    And yes, that harm you love. Right.
    Which constituency were you elected for?

  33. Faerieson

    It doesn’t bear thinking about, what IDS wants to hear. One might wonder if his true thoughts are even broadcastable. If only the growing disillusionment that so many of the electorate feel also had a positive flip-side!

    One obvious point that is evident is that no recent Minister for Health or Education has considered the ongoing ‘motivational’ force of consolidated low morale. Unfortunately, this aspect of government has been entirely seamless!

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