Hewitt announces increased contradiction of policy and further privatization of the NHS.
The Green Party have slammed the latest incoherent policy from Patricia Hewitt as inconsistent and damaging to the equity and effectiveness of patient care. The ‘Health reform in England: update and commissioning framework’  spells out the next steps in the privatization of the NHS, and increases the contradictions in the policies already in force.
Stuart Jeffery, Health Spokesperson for the Green Party comments: “The last 9 years have seen the selling of hospitals, support services, clinical services and GPs to the corporate sector, and now with this latest announcement from Hewitt, we have the sale of the commissioning arm of the NHS. The private sector will now be able to have £64 billion of taxpayers money with virtually no acknowledgement of accountability.”
“Hewitt talks about safeguarding the core values of the NHS. One of those core values was set out by the Labour government in 2000 as ‘Public funds for healthcare will be devoted solely to NHS patients’ . This is clearly breached by the rampant privatization and profiteering that Labour have introduced – these companies exist to make a profit for their shareholders from public funds, this is not patient care.”
“Hewitt talks about overriding need for choice and then states that PCTs can block choice through Referral Management Centres. Perhaps if people were asked to choose between their local hospital closing or not, the response would be different – this is what her version of choice means. She also talks of choice being extended beyond planned care – will the ambulance ask us which hospital we would like to be taken to as we bleed to death?”
“She also pays lip service to the needs of patients. Although she states that clinical need is paramount, she suggests that it should be based in a market system. It is widely acknowledged that markets do not meet health care needs. Basing health care around the vociferous few that can make waves and have the resources to travel will increasingly exclude those who can’t. ”