Lanlsley’s latest sop to private health should come as no surprise

News that private health companies could be paid much more than their public sector NHS competitors under Andrew Lansley’s health reforms should come as no surprise.

By Tamasin Cave of Spinwatch

The news that private health companies could be paid substantially more than their public sector NHS competitors under Andrew Lansley’s health reforms should come as no surprise.

The move has been justified by the claim that there is a current 14 per cent market “distortion” against private sector contractors. Therefore, private companies should get paid 14% more than NHS providers for the same services in order to level the playing field.

Yet, as the Mirror reports today, critics suggest that such rewards are simply “payback” for the hundreds of thousands of pounds that private healthcare companies have poured into Tory party coffers. This is to miss the bigger picture.

Lansley’s Health Bill opens the doors of the NHS to private providers on a scale not seen before. Their routes to influence extend far wider than party funding.

Lansley’s time as shadow health secretary, from 2004 to 2010, saw a marked growth in the private healthcare lobby. Just look at some of the groups, for example, that were set up in this period:

• In 2005, the NHS Partners Network, which represents private companies providing NHS care;

• In 2006, 2020Health, a think tank close to Lansley which advocates more private sector involvement in the NHS; and

• In 2007, Nurses for Reform, the controversial lobby group which pushes for competition in health provision (and which has called the NHS “a Stalinist, nationalised abhorrence”).

Other established think tanks pushing for NHS reform during this period include many with close ties to the Conservative command:

• Reform, which was established by Nick Herbert, now Conservative Home Office Minister;

• Policy Exchange, set up by Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude;

• The Centre for Policy Studies, whose Council includes Conservative Minister David Willetts, and whose directors include Tory donor and private health boss John Nash; and

• The Adam Smith Institute, another key part of the infrastructure of the conservative movement in Britain, which lobbies against state funded and provided healthcare.

Lansley’s dismantling of the NHS has been years in the planning as Eamonn Butler, director of the Adam Smith Institute explained to Radio 4’s Today programme recently. Asked if the government was attempting to reform too far, too fast and with a shrinking budget, Butler replied:

“It’s been 20 years in the planning, I think they’ll do it.”

Lansley, rest assured, has not been alone in cooking up these plans over the years.

SpinWatch has made a short film which takes you on a tour of some of the private health companies, lobbying agencies and think tanks that are lobbying for changes to the NHS; watch it here.

25 Responses to “Lanlsley’s latest sop to private health should come as no surprise”

  1. Lescromps

    Lanlsley's latest sop to private health should come as no surprise | Left Foot Forward http://bit.ly/hRUI5n #savenhs#ukuncut

  2. Nicola Iannelli

    RT @leftfootfwd: Lanlsley's latest sop to private health should come as no surprise: http://bit.ly/eo3EKg writes Tamasin Cave of @Spinwatch

  3. Mike O'Brien

    RT @leftfootfwd: Lanlsley's latest sop to private health should come as no surprise: http://bit.ly/eo3EKg writes Tamasin Cave of @Spinwatch

  4. L DTUC

    RT @leftfootfwd: Lanlsley's latest sop to private health should come as no surprise: http://bit.ly/eo3EKg writes Tamasin Cave of @Spinwatch

  5. Ali Wilkin

    RT @leftfootfwd: Lanlsley's latest sop to private health should come as no surprise: http://bit.ly/eo3EKg writes Tamasin Cave of @Spinwatch

  6. Dan

    RT @leftfootfwd: Lanlsley's latest sop to private health should come as no surprise: http://bit.ly/eo3EKg writes Tamasin Cave of @Spinwatch

  7. lesa

    RT @leftfootfwd: Lanlsley's latest sop to private health should come as no surprise: http://bit.ly/eo3EKg writes Tamasin Cave of @Spinwatch

  8. subaruoflondon

    RT @leftfootfwd: Lanlsley's latest sop to private health should come as no surprise: http://bit.ly/eo3EKg writes Tamasin Cave of @Spinwatch

  9. david

    what is a sop?

  10. False Economy

    Lansley's latest sop to private health should come as no surprise writes Tamasin Cave @leftfootfwd http://ow.ly/3M5DA (via @Spinwatch)

  11. Alan W

    According to the Oxford English dictionary a sop is “a thing of no great value given or done as a concession to appease someone whose main concerns or demands are not being met”.

    In the context of Lansley and the private health companies it doesn’t seem like the correct term to use, given that his concession (14% more money than for public providers) is surely of great value indeed.

  12. Nick H.

    RT @FalseEcon: Lansley's latest sop to private health should come as no surprise writes Tamasin Cave @leftfootfwd http://ow.ly/3M5DA (vi …

  13. Martin Rathfelder

    Lansley said last week at Health Questions: “Let me tell him that the one thing we will not do with the private sector is rig the market so that private companies get contracts and guaranteed money whether or not they treat patients. We are not going to give them 11% more money than the NHS would get for doing the same work. We will give NHS organisations a proper chance to deliver services for patients.”

  14. Richard Blogger

    HSJ has more on this story. Apparently the likely situation is that private companies will be paid the same as NHS, but the NHS providers will have some of the money deducted to pay for the state services they “benefit” from.

    As my analysis shows, the 14% comes from a study by KPMG that does not include the benefit that the private sector gets from NHS training.

    However, there is another important piece of information. The KPMG study was called “Fair Playing Field” and was commissioned by the Department of Health in 2009. (ie New Labour were thinking about the same thing.)

    It is about time that Ed Miliband wioped clear the past and came out in favour of a publicly owned NHS. I won’t hold my breath.

  15. TreeOfMan

    RT @FalseEcon: Lansley's latest sop to private health should come as no surprise writes Tamasin Cave @leftfootfwd http://ow.ly/3M5DA (vi …

  16. Stephen Lintott

    Lanlsley's latest sop to private health should come as no surprise | Left Foot Forward http://tinyurl.com/5v9ywyy

  17. Julian Roskams

    RT @Slintottuk: Lanlsley's latest sop to private health should come as no surprise | Left Foot Forward http://tinyurl.com/5v9ywyy

  18. Sutton Coldfield CLP

    Private sector to be given 14% more for delivering NHS services whilst thousands lose their jobs in the NHS:
    http://goo.gl/728vE

  19. Watching You

    "Dr" Lansley's Monster again…. RT @leftfootfwd: Lansley's latest sop to private health should come as no surprise http://bit.ly/hnCyD5

  20. Mike Barker

    "Lansley's latest sop to private health should come as no surprise http://bit.ly/hnCyD5”

  21. Cameron’s fantasy list of NHS reform backers | Left Foot Forward

    […] which care about the NHS have long opposed the reforms – with the most enthusiastic supporters including wealthy bankers, privatisation fanatics, Freemason enthusiasts and anti-NHS extremists […]

  22. Shamik Das

    And here's more on those who are backing Lansley: Bankers & private healthcare providers http://t.co/rxykGdpD & http://t.co/Grhnm7tU #BBCQT

  23. Has Lansley misled the House over links to private health? | Left Foot Forward

    […] Lanlsley’s latest sop to private health should come as no surprise – Tamasin Cave, January 28th […]

  24. Safe in their hands? Tory peers, private health and the threat to our NHS | Left Foot Forward

    […] Lanlsley’s latest sop to private health should come as no surprise – Tamasin Cave, January 28th […]

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