Don’t let your National Health get privatised by stealth. By Melissa Darcey

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"Accountable Care" – Is this England's version of the American model "Medi-Care"?

The NHS is currently undergoing some concerning reconfiguration. In the news we are hearing of A&E closures and downgrades, GP surgery closures, community pharmacy closures, more focus on "care closer to home", centralisation on important life saving services such as emergency care, maternity, neonatal, stroke, vascular and heart services – the list goes on…
This is being "sold" to us, the public, as making the NHS safe and sustainable and encourages people to seek preventative care closer to home rather than leaving it until you are "really poorly" needing more "specialised extensive treatment".
We hear phrases such as "receiving the right care, in the right place, at the right time" – which would make you think these reconfigurations are a good positive move forward….

The Truth –
Cutting hospital beds, shutting down A&E's, maternity units, GP surgeries, community pharmacies and centralising acute life saving services is dismantling the NHS we know and love.
With fewer acute life saving and important services available locally, people are expected to travel journeys of over an hour or more whilst in emergencies such as giving birth, experiencing a heart attack or stroke and GP surgeries are unable to give you a face to face appointment for, in some areas, 4-6 weeks – people with disposable income are ALREADY experimenting with private healthcare.
Private virtual GP's are springing up all over the place with "Push Doctor" and "Babylon Health" being two of them:
It was horrifying to see someone posting on social media advertising "Push Doctor" saying it was wonderful that they paid £5 to speak to a doctor on the telephone – when did this kind of healthcare become acceptable in England??

NHS England has split the National Health Service into 44 "footprints" called – Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STP's). These "plans" are set to make £22 billion cuts to the NHS in order to reduce "deficits" and make the NHS safe and sustainable for the future of our health as we are an "aging population with complex needs".
All 44 STP's include the creation of either an ACO (Accountable Care Organisation), an ICO (Integrated Care Organisation), Vanguards or a MCP (Multispecialty Community Provider):
The idea is to bring together all of the trust boards, health services, clinical commissioning group's (CCG's) and local authorities (Councils) within one STP (footprint) area to create one organisation that will commission the health and social care services.
This is "sold" to us as reducing duplication in clinical and non-clinical management which sounds very appealing as we know that too much money is wasted on top tier management.
The fact is – this opens up the opportunity for more "3rd party providers" to take over our NHS.
"3rd party providers" are private providers such as Virgin, Optum and Circle to name a few – these companies own a lot of services in the NHS currently.

The Diversional Tactics –
Most people would agree that the NHS could do better BUT the difference in opinion lies in the reason why people think it needs to change.
In the mainstream media we are now seeing shocking reports of people dying on trolleys in the corridor of an overrun A&E department but unfortunately it seems the blame is being angled at patients and front-line staff:
CCG's blame hospitals and patients, hospital trust boards blame ambulance services for not being able to cope, ambulance services blaming hospitals for not admitting patients quick enough and also charging the trust boards for the delays.
Whist we get distracted with all the buck passing, the NHS is drastically changing as a whole!

We are now hearing of hip operations only being available on the NHS if you cannot physically sleep or move around with ease – is this healthcare that is free at the point of delivery, based on patient need? Was that decision taken with patient need in mind or was it financially driven??

More importantly this decision is a catalyst in transforming healthcare in England into a "Two Tier System", just like the US have already with their private healthcare and "Medi-Care" model.
The restriction in hip operations will further encourage people with a little extra cash to pay for their operation privately out of desperation but more importantly because they have the money to do so, whilst people who do not have extra cash around will be left to suffer in pain – to the point where they cannot sleep – surely is it a human right to be able to sleep???

Plans that Simon Stevens (CEO – NHS England), Jeremy Hunt, Theresa May and previously Andrew Lansley and David Cameron have set in motion are already transforming the comprehensive, universal NHS we know into an increasingly limited organisation that doesn't HAVE to treat everyone – which encourages people to seek alternative help offered by – Private Providers.

ADVICE –
Get clued up on the truth behind the crisis in our NHS – Join your local campaign group (there will more than likely be one) – if not, make one! – Find out what is going on with your local healthcare – Link up regionally and nationally with other campaigns (there are plenty of us now)!
Let's pull together – in unison – to stop our beloved NHS becoming a two tier system where safe and comprehensive healthcare will be no longer available to those who are poor, vulnerable and cannot afford to pay!
#OneFightWeAllUnite #SaveOurNHS #StrongerTogether

Written by Melissa Darcey – NHS Editor @ Unity March News – https://www.facebook.com/UnityMarchUK/

 

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