Wednesday, 14 November 2012

NHS cuts: financial vested interests questioned

Save our Hospitals march: Shepherd's Bush
Andy Slaughter has written a blunt letter to Dr Anne Rainsberry, the Chief Executive of NHS NW London, about the conflict of interests issues arising from the Shaping a Healthier Future programme, which is set to close most hospital services in our borough.

This follows press reports that the sell off programme of NHS assets is set to make some working in the NHS very wealthy people, with both of our hospital sites being earmarked for property developers. Several individuals involved in deciding the fate of those sites also have interests in the private company that the Guardian highlights as being set to make a tidy sum. 

Now there's a coincidence. 

In his letter Mr Slaughter had this to say:
Dear Ms Rainsberry, 
I attach the front page article from today’s Guardian, which you may have seen, regarding the sale of out of hours GP service provider Harmoni to Care UK. The article states that a number of GPs will make substantial sums from the sale.  
I note that four of the CCG chairs in NW London declare shareholding or directorship in Harmoni, as does your Medical Director. It would be helpful to know if they are beneficiaries of the sale and by what amount.  
Looking the future, I note a number of other private medical interests in the declarations made by those who will be making decisions on the future of our local NHS. What assurances can you give that those making decisions on your ‘shaping a healthier future’ programme will see no direct or indirect financial benefit therefrom?
No reply has yet been forthcoming...

The latest revelations follow the disastrous appearance of Mark Spencer, Medical Director of NHS NW London on the BBC Politics Show, who proceeded to tell elected politicians that they really should just belt up and do what the doctor says. Shame that one of his key claims, that local GPs support the plans, was shortly afterwards proved to be false by our Council. 

It's like watching a sinister version of the Muppet Show. 

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