Under the microscope: Lansley’s private healthcare supporters

Tamasin Cave of Spinwatch reveals health secretary Andrew Lansley's network of pro-market supporters - private healthcare companies, think tanks and lobbyists.

By Tamasin Cave of Spinwatch

Health secretary Andrew Lansley presented the formal first reading of the Health and Social Care Bill to Parliament today, unveiling plans to radically change the NHS. Already, doctors, nurses, unions and MPs have variously described Lansley’s reforms as “extraordinarily risky”, “expensive”, “rushed, ill-conceived and potentially disastrous” and “it could be a bloody awful train crash”.

Others, however, see reform differently. One CEO of a private hospital company called it:

“A new, exciting era… that will ultimately change, to our benefit, the landscape in which we operate.”

He is just one of a largely unseen army of lobbyists pushing Lansley for reforms that will see private health companies making huge profits out of the NHS. To get the changes to the NHS they want, companies have been busy employing politicians (including former health ministers), hiring lobbying agencies full of government insiders, and paying think tanks close to the Conservative Party.

This short film takes you on a tour of the offices of just some of these healthcare companies, agencies and think tanks surrounding Parliament, all of which are lobbying to fundamentally change the NHS in their own interests:

As the film reveals, some of Lansley and David Cameron’s supporters have spoken of “denationalisation”, and called the NHS an “abhorrence”.

Kingsley Manning, business development director for health at Tribal (who are looking to get into the commissioning process) says:

“This white paper could amount to the denationalisation of healthcare services in England and is the most important redirection of the NHS in more than a generation, going further than any Secretary of State has gone before.”

While Dr Helen Evans, director of Nurses for Reform, said:

“NFR has long argued that the NHS is an essentially Stalinist, nationalised abhorrence and that Britain can do musch [sic] better without its so called ‘principals’ [sic].”

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