NHS Detectives Investigate Virgin Crime Scene in Leeds – Report on Leeds March for the NHS – 1st April 2017

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NHS Detectives Investigate Virgin Crime Scene in Leeds – Leeds March for the NHS 1st April 2017

Conducting a crime scene investigation outside the Leeds Virgin store on Saturday 1st April, NHS Detectives appealed to passers-by for information about the attempted murder of the NHS.

As the NHS Detectives sealed off the entrance to the Leeds Virgin store, people out doing their shopping were shocked to learn that global management consultants are guilty of making millions from drawing up the so-called Sustainability and Transformation Plans that are set to make a final, fatal attack on the NHS – and that Virgin have already taken over £1bn worth of NHS contracts and are now suing the NHS because one of their bids lost out for a big contract.

Professor Allyson Pollock, a Public Health professor at Newcastle University, said she was shocked by Virgin’s announcement:

“This extreme action by Virgin is another example of private business riding roughshod over what should be a public service catering for our public health. When profit becomes the motive patient care and public wellbeing go out the window.”

At the crime scene investigation, witnesses came forward with horrific accounts of deaths caused by A&E closures, services not open and reduced treatments.

NHS Detective said:

“These are all symptoms of the Sustainability and Transformation Plans. This is a life or death situation here. The NHS is on life support now – and these STPs will be the killing blow if we don’t stop them. It’s as simple as that.”

The white-suited forensics team from Yorkshire, County Durham, Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and the Wirral brought information from their areas that the STPs, which are being sold as ‘improvements’ and ‘efficiency savings’, in reality are destructive plans to set up a USA-style, two-tier health service.

NHS Detective added:

“This is a truly worrying case. If we don’t stop these Plans, health care will be mostly private and paid for by private health insurance – for those who can afford it. And the NHS will be like US medicare – a minimal backstop for people who can’t get private health insurance.

Sustainability and Transformation Plans are final murder weapon for the NHS. We have to seize this weapon now before it batters the NHS to death. Otherwise, we’ll be faced with an unsafe substandard health care system where people will unnecessarily die from treatable and preventable health conditions.”

In Leeds for the March for the NHS, the national NHS campaign group 999 Call for the NHS drew its team of NHS Detectives from all over the country. They joined over 4,000 people from Yorkshire and beyond who brought the city centre to a standstill as they highlighted the secretive Sustainability & Transformation Plans (STPs)

The NHS Detectives, from 999 Call for NHS, Calderdale and Kirklees 999, 999 Call NorthEast, Fighting 4 Life Lincolnshire and Defend our NHS Wirral are clear there is a solution. Supported by leading academics and some MPs they are calling for :

An end to the so-called Sustainability and Transformation Plans
The restoration of a comprehensive, universal NHS
A publicly run NHS that is free at the point of clinical need
An NHS that is free of privatisation and marketisation with sufficient government funding for good quality health and social care

1. Underfunded NHS clinical commissioning groups have spent at least £16 million between them, for advice from management consultants on drawing up the 44 secretive Sustainability and Transformation Plans that NHS England imposed in 2016. More information here: http://www.energyroyd.org.uk/archives/15971

2. Sustainability and Transformation Plans – dubbed Slash, Trash and Privatise by Defend the NHS campaigners – involve:

£billions of cuts to NHS and social care services by 2020,
Huge denials of care as “demand” for NHS and social care services are “managed”,
Massive NHS and social care privatisation.

The size of the cuts is disputed. NHS England’s figure is £22bn, the Health Select Committee estimates around £25.5bn, and a Kings Fund estimate is £29.2m. This is because the amount of additional government investment in the NHS is disputed, depending on how it is counted.

Sustainability and Transformation Plans’ cuts and “demand reduction” measures will end our cradle to grave health care system and replace it with a 2 tier system that imports the profiteering, costly, unsafe and unfair American health system.

Soon – unless we stop the STPs – our health care will be mostly private and paid for by private health insurance, with a rump Medicare system for those who can’t get private health insurance.

Already Leeds Teaching Hospitals Cancer Centre has a “partnership” with an American-owned private health company, to provide private cancer care in its hospital. And the West Yorkshire & Harrogate Diabetic Eye Service is provided by a private company. Increasingly commissioning is privatised too.

This pattern is repeated across England.

The shrinking pot of NHS and social care funding – relative to real costs and population growth – guarantees more cuts to our NHS and social care. Our hospitals and community services are already at breaking point. Unless we stop this NOW, Sustainability and Transformation Plans will be the nail in the coffin for a free comprehensive health care equal to all. We’ll be faced with an unsafe substandard health care system where people will unnecessarily die from treatable and preventable health conditions. More info here: www.stopthestps.org.uk

3. Virgin Care has been mopping up NHS contracts since 2010, when it acquired a majority stake in Assura Medical; the renaming took place in March 2012.

Virgin Care has two arms to its business: primary care services, including GP services and walk-in centres; and community-based NHS and social care services.

These sectors are set to expand as Sustainability and Transformation Plans run down hospital services in favour of Care Closer to Home – which campaigners have dubbed Death Closer to Home, since there is no evidence that so-called Care Closer to Home will provide the required quality of care or be capable of being delivered for less money than hospital services – which it is required to do.

With its primary care and community health and social care contracts, Virgin Care will be part of the Accountable Care Organisations or Systems that the Sustainability and Transformation Plans are setting up to replace the current NHS and social care commissioner/ provider structure. This will place Virgin Care like a privatised Trojan Horse right in the centre of the new NHS and social care architecture

In mid 2016, Virgin Care announced that it currently runs or oversees more than 250 NHS services, treating more than 5 million people.

Last autumn, it got a seven year, £700m community health and care services contract from Bath Council which is the largest deal the company has ever won from a single authority and the first time that a for-profit company will be in charge of out-of-hospital services.

In 2016 it took over children’s care services in Wiltshire and recently it was awarded a £126 million contract to take over services at hospitals in Kent.
However Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT), has launched a legal challenge in the High Court which has stopped contracts being signed. http://www.kentonline.co.uk/…/legal-challenge-to-virgins-1…/

Rich and litigious, Virgin Care is no stranger to taking legal action against the NHS.

In March 2017 Virgin Care Services Ltd began legal proceedings in the High Court against NHS England, Surrey County Council and the county’s six clinical commissioning groups after losing out on a 3 year £82 million children’s community services contract ,which was awarded to Surrey Healthy Children and Families Services Limited Liability Partnership.

In February 2016, Virgin Care successfully forced Hull Clinical Commissioning Group to run a full primary care tender for its planned large-scale GP practice groups (which are key to delivering the new Care Closer to Home schemes). Hull CCG had intended to create the large-scale primary care providers by inviting groups of GPs to take over eight practices currently run under alternative provider medical services (APMS) contracts. Three of these eight contracts, which all expired in March, are run by Virgin Care Services Ltd. The private companies’ move has forced commissioners to undertake a full procurement process for these eight primary care practices, divided into four lots.

Virgin Care smaller contracts include musculoskeletal, dermatology, and sexual health services.

The most recent financial data for Virgin Care are the accounts filed with the UK Companies House for the year ending 31 March 2015. Turnover was reported as £40.38 million leading to a gross profit of £5.2 million, however after administrative expenses of over £20 million, the company made a loss of £9.1 million. As a result the company paid no tax in the UK.

For the past five years Virgin Care Ltd has reported an annual loss of around £9 to £10 million in its accounts and so has paid no tax in the UK.

Virgin Care Ltd is registered in the UK, however, an analysis by Richard Murphy, a chartered accountant at Tax Research UK, found 13 holding companies, some of them offshore, between Virgin Care and its ultimate parent company, Virgin Group Holdings Ltd based in the tax haven of the British Virgin Islands. Virgin Group Holdings Ltd’s principal beneficiaries are Sir Richard Branson, reported to have a net worth of £2.7bn, and his family. According to Murphy’s analysis, this type of company structure makes it unlikely that Virgin Care will pay any tax in the UK in the foreseeable future.

More info here: http://nhsforsale.info/…/private-provider-profi…/virgin.html

4. 999 Call for the NHS is a grassroots campaign group with no affiliation to any political party. The group organised the 300 mile People’s March for the NHS in 2014, marching from Jarrow to London and ending with a 20,000+ rally in Trafalgar Square. More info: www.999callfornhs.org.uk
By 999 Call for the NHS

Campaign groups that attended on the day were as follows:

Leeds Keep Our NHS Public – (Organisers) – https://www.facebook.com/groups/141710829185241/

Keep Our NHS Public –
https://www.facebook.com/keepournhspublic/?fref=ts

999 Call for the NHS –
https://www.facebook.com/999CallForTheNhs/

999 Call for the NHS Calderdale and Kirklees –
https://www.facebook.com/999-Call-for-the-NHS-Calderdale-…/…

999 Call for the NHS North East –
https://www.facebook.com/999northeast/?fref=ts

Fighting 4 Life Lincolnshire –
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1696693563977788/

With representatives from Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital and Fighting 4 Louth Hospital –
https://www.facebook.com/groups/399594473752084/

Hands Off HRI –
https://www.facebook.com/groups/377903472573420/?ref=br_tf&qsefr=1

Defend Our NHS Wirral –
https://www.facebook.com/groups/defendournhs/

Barnsley Save Our NHS –
https://www.facebook.com/groups/barnsleysaveournhs/

NHS Detectives –
https://www.facebook.com/NHSDetectives/?fref=ts

And many more health campaigns and unions from around the country……..

Join your local and national campaign to save your NHS – if there isn’t one – Set One Up!

By 999 Call for the NHS and Melissa Darcey (Health Campaigner and NHS Editor Unity March News)
#999CallForTheNHS

#UnityMarchUK #UnityMarchNews

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