This branch is appalled that privatisation is already hitting our GP surgeries without any consultation. We note Prof. Allyson Pollock’s recent warning that 49 GP surgeries would suddenly be under the control of “Integrated Care Systems” (ICSs) run by an American health insurance corporation called Centene (In Islington, Hanley Rd. And Mitchison Rd. GPs)
The aim of these ICSs is both to centralise and to save spending (especially on “frail, vulnerable” and elderly patients), de-skill professional health jobs,cut staff training, conditions and contracts
ICSs mean a major re-organisation of the NHS into 42 regions, under cover of the Covid pandemic. It will rid our government of the local CCGs (Clinical Commissioning Groups) – made up largely of medically-qualified locals. ICSs also mean an end to our local councillors’ ability to refer back decisions to the Tory Gvt which our cllrs believe will damage local patients. Government clearly wants an end to what remains of local accountability and democracy in our NHS. Despite claiming to “integrate health & social care services for the benefit of patients”, ICSs are actually based on a model from the United States which aims to spend less on care. NHS England, at the top, has, in fact, asked for legislation to turn ICSs into legal bodies (see Gvt White Paper , Feb 2021)
- an immediate halt to the roll out of ICSs across England, ensuring info about this is sent to all affiliated Trade Unions
- an extended and meaningful consultation with the public and Parliament to decide how health and social care are best provided in England. After almost 30 yrs of marketisation, it is time to to ensure to ensure social care and the NHS together. Care and the NHS together are a fully accountable service which is free at the point of use, in line, for example, with the NHS Bill 2016-17(see www.nhsbillnow.org )
- Further, we demand the publication of the remit and functioning of the secret Government Task Force on the NHS (as revealed by Open Democracy in Nov,2020)
- New technology must be used to improve patient care, not to de-skill or replace staff as patients need and want human contact.