Tom Jones, of Thompsons Solicitors, comments on claims that the Queen’s Speech will include plans to curb privatisation of the NHS.
Plans to significantly curb the privatisation of care within the NHS will be included in the Queen’s Speech, according to reports in the Guardian newspaper.
Under current regulations, which require NHS bodies to put contracts worth more than £615,278 out to tender, private firms were awarded a record £9.2 billion share of the NHS’s budget in 2018.
Now it seems that new rules may limit the tide of privatisation within the NHS. The proposed restrictions will allow the NHS to retain more of its budget for public care rather than outsourcing to profit making organisations. A move to limit competition within the NHS is seen as a way of reducing distraction from patient care.
Tom Jones, head of policy at Thompsons Solicitors, commented: “Billions of pounds that could have been better spent on the NHS and its hardworking staff have instead been shipped out of the door to line the pockets of private health providers whose ultimate aim is profit, not care.
“We used to talk about the slow creep of privatisation, when in reality, the private providers have been taking money from the NHS in spades for some time, and the government has been continually turning up the speed on the conveyor belt.”
"“Billions of pounds that could have been better spent on the NHS and its hardworking staff have instead been shipped out of the door to line the pockets of private health providers whose ultimate aim is profit, not care.""
Thompsons Solicitors believes it is essential that patient safety is prioritised over profit, regardless of whether people are treated through the NHS or privately. The Patients Before Profits campaigns seeks to raise awareness of the dangerous legal loopholes which currently exist and allow private healthcare providers opportunities to evade responsibility for negligent clinicians working at their hospitals in a way the NHS never could, or would.
“This is a case of the person who is holding the stable door wide open so the horse can escape thinking about shutting it an inch or two and we are meant to be grateful for that. Tinkering at the edges won’t stop our publicly-owned, free-at-the-point-of-need, world-class healthcare service being picked apart like carrion by profit-orientated vultures,” continued Tom Jones.
“We’ve seen first-hand what happens when profit trumps care. Ask any of the hundreds of women we supported in the wake of the Ian Paterson scandal and they will tell you that the checks and balances applied by the private health providers to their care were inferior to those upheld by the NHS.
“We hope the Guardian’s report about the next Queen’s Speech rings true, but let’s make sure that any long-overdue brake on private providers seeing the NHS as a cash cow is a handbrake turn, not a gentle easing of the pace.”
Thompsons supports the call to put patients before profits
Thompsons has been campaigning to put a stop to private healthcare providers putting profits patients before profits. Our 'Patients Before Profits: Let's Help Sling The Mesh' campaign, supports the call for a full public inquiry into mesh, and for patient safety to be prioritised over profits.