Saturday, March 3, 2012

Is McKinsey The Real Reason Why Cameron Will Not Dump His Hated NHS Reforms?

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The Health and Social Care Reforms Bill  should have been dropped weeks ago, however, it looks like David Cameron is set on getting it onto the statute books, the damage from the political fall-out that this is causing him and his government is beginning to resonate with the electorate, so one has to wonder why he is insisting with these reforms when the general public and 98% a of all medical professionals and NHS workers generally etc., are fundamentally opposed to the Conservative reforms (which are also backed by the Liberal Democrats) and want them withdrawn. Is it really just Cameron's and Lansley's vacuous political vanity, or could it be something altogether more sinister?

The reforms are officially said to be costing in the region of £3.5 billion.  However, the bill had not been officially passed, in fact, it had not even been properly debated in the House of Commons when the changes in the NHS started to be made and now millions of pounds of funding has already been spent (and is still being spent) on implementing  the changes that the Health and Social Care Reforms Bill will bring to the NHS. 

The government have also already began awarding contracts to private healthcare companies and some of these companies that have won contracts just happen to be financial backers of the Conservative party.  
The KPMG Partnership for Commissioning has won one of the first contracts to support the development of the early waves of pathfinders across NHS London and help them to become commissioners of services in the future. KPMG is also a donor to the Conservative party. KPMG has given both cash and non-cash donations to the Tory party. 

How deep does the Conservative party's involvement with private health providers actually go and could this be the main reason why Cameron, Lansley and Clegg refuse to pull back from the Health and Social Care Bill now? Has this government already signed other large and lucrative NHS contracts with private health companies which it would find not only embarrassing to break away from, but also illegal?

A great number of for profit companies have been circling Cameron and the Conservatives even before this Tory led government assumed power, and one has to ask why? How did they Know  about Cameron and Lansley's plans for the NHS, especially when according to David Cameron shortly before the May 2010 general election, there was to be "no top down reorganisation of the NHS? Doesn't make sense does it?
These companies did not just sniff out the possibility of the biggest reforms in the NHS 63 year history and waste millions in Tory donations and lobbying companies on the off chance of a contract here and there, this is just not how they operate, no they knew something was going to happen and this really needs exposing, because it will take the general public right to the rotten corrupted heart of the present government. They have staked claims to large parts of the £100 billion NHS budget and the involvement of the of the private sector always means they are in it for profit and that profit will end with money being drained out of the NHS and into the bank accounts of private company shareholder and this will mean fewer services, fewer operations, fewer treatments, unless of course you have the money to pay for expensive health insurance and even that may not cover people's health requirements should they or their families fall ill.
Thanks to Prime Minister David Cameron, Chancellor George Osborne, Deputy PM Nick Clegg and Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, these Private Commissioning Companies are pretty close to getting what they want out of our NHS.
These are the companies  who hire lobbying agencies and think tanks who they pay to push their agenda with our MPs. Lansley's reforms have been heavily criticized for opening the doors of the NHS to private FOR profit companies. Looking deeper the true extent of Andrew Lansley and David Cameron's involvement with such agencies is really quite astonishing. See Here for details and see the sidebar for many more examples.

Turning NHS Direct into NHS 111 is a typical case of Tory sleight of hand with the NHS even before the bill was debated, see HERE for further details. Many in NHS Direct were worried by the scale and pace of changes they were being forced to accept without prior consultation, they were also worried about Lansley intention to replace properly trained medical staff with NHS 111 operators who had little or no medical experience and let them loose of the public after just 60 hours training. Lansley said these were pilot schemes, yet these pilot schemes were many and took place without prior consultation with parliament.
NB: Since the commencement of these so-called "pilot schemes" many reports have been leaked that telephone operator/advisers unable to get the one qualified nurse's advice, have felt unable or unhappy to give medical advice over the phone and this has resulted in a sharp increase of traffic in A& E departments, as many more people are now being referred to hospitals as was previously the case under the old NHS Direct scheme, whereby the ratio of trained to untrained staff was 40%. This is a clear example of how "saving" on properly trained medical staff salaries has resulted in costing the NHS far more in the long run and is just one example of one 'sickness' that is present throughout out the Health and Social Care Reforms Bill!

Now I refer you back to something I mentioned on this blog one year ago in March 2011.

I was told that Derby City Primary Care Trust had already been put out to tender and had  at that point three expressions of interest From;

  1. BUPA;
  2. Boots; 
  3. AN-other 
Even more worrying the deadline for tenders had apparently already passed a few weeks before  proper notice had been given, so even if "any other" interested groups under the Tory government's preferred "any other provider" wanted to bid for contracts it couldn't and this is exactly the same as happened with the change from NHS Direct to NHS 111. At this point the Tories had only been in power just 10 months. So in the space of 10 months the Tories had gone from: 

  • No top down reorganisation of the NHS; 
  • To within 8 weeks, introducing a highly complex White Paper (Liberating the NHS) with the intention of following it with the Health and Social Care Reforms Bill;
  • To informing the public that the government were going to introduce the biggest revolution in the NHS 63 year history;
  • Lansley had was also introducing widespread "pilot schemes" which would replace NHS Direct within NHS 111 using a majority of untrained staff; 
  • To putting Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) to tender and in some cases the tendering period had already closed!

At the time Andrew Lansley said that GP Commissioners will have to honour present contracts. However, I was informed by a reliable source that there appeared to be a lot of contracts being signed in a "hurry" and with absolutely no clear evidence of tendering. 

Councils across the country are now outsourcing huge swathes of their work as they struggle to operate with a 20% cut in funding from central government. This is resulting in care for disabled children and the elderly etc being cut, Libraries closed, Sure Start Centres closing and also thousands of redundancies from local authorities wi hich are having a devastating effect on local economies.

As I tried to warn at the time THIS closure of Normanton Medical Centre Derby could be a shape of things to come right across the country and with more and more private sector involvement in the NHS, we will not have just one NHS, we will have hundreds of little NHS's and these little providers will all be competing to give health care, and services will be so fragmented and disjointed that health care will suffer.. The UK has one of the best primary care services in the world, only the Swiss have something similar and under the government's plans we stand to lose this. Remember this was already underway in private soon after Lansley began publishing his plans! Coincidence? You decide.

Lord Blyth - Tory donor and Boots Deputy Chairman stands to gain from the break up and privatisation of the NHS and apparently he wants to buy all the NHS Walk In Centres! There is no official confirmation of this (I have been told privately) so remember where you heard it first!  However, I have been told that Boots have already agreed a cut price deal with Cameron and Lansley for these centres. Many of the centres which are stationed in buildings where Boots operate, makes them first choice to fill the lucrative prescription trade!  More privatisation by stealth and yet more apparently dubious practises from this Conservative government.
Boots incidentally are profiting from the government sending them "free labour" on the "Workfare" or"Work Programme" in form of placements from Job Centres and those sent were sent under the threat of a sanctions of having their JSA removed if they refuse to work for nothing. Despite the Lies Of Iain Duncan Smith and Chris Grayling and the DWP efforts to remove all incriminating documentation that proves this, this was written by the DWP as "mandatory" see HERE.

 David Cameron has made much about GPs across the country backing his reforms, but in reality, they had little choice. Cameron should not confuse GPs trying to do the best for their patients as backing for his reforms. The Royal College of GPs has recently asked David Cameron to withdraw the bill.

If the reforms go ahead we will have Consortia replacing PCTs and GPs forming
commissioning and this may add further complications, as large companies (like Boots, Bupa, United Healthcare, Care UK etc) could buy up up practices which could potentially gain control of the consortium's commissioning decisions.

The current NHS reforms initially focused on the development of "local autonomy", whereby existing purchasers of healthcare by primary care trusts, would be replaced by Clinical Care Groups led by local GPs. The thrust of coalition's reforms was to make the CCGs autonomous and able to make decisions reflecting local choices about what healthcare should be provided, and how, but already with over 300 amendments/concessions to the Health and Social Care Reforms Bill this is going to pose serious problems. The NHS works by continuity, if you break one link of the chain there will be a reaction and a problems in other areas right down the line. The Bill is in total chaos and disarray, any bill that has to make 300 changes is obviously ill-thought out and seriously flawe, yet this is the bill that Cameron, Lansley and Clegg are trying to force 98% of highly trained healthcare professionals accept and implement .
Even Andrew Lansley's  previous adviser on CCG's, Dr Sam Everington, has written to the Prime Minister asking him to withdraw this bill, see his actual letter HERE

To add to David Cameron's embarrassment, City and Hackney CCG have also added their voice to the growing dissent and they  said it believed the bill would ‘hamper future improvements, not help us', and described the CCG authorisation process as a ‘huge disruption and very bureaucratic See Full letter Here.

We are almost to the point of this bill becoming law, yet, still have received no explanation why the NHS needs such a radical shake-up, when actually all reports are indicating otherwise and pointing to the fact that the NHS is continuing its improvement and innovation, or why these reforms are being railroaded through parliament at break neck speed at the time when the government is forcing the NHS to make £20 billion worth of "savings" (cuts). So we have to look at other possible causes for this and one of those reasons could be because of a company called Mckinsey. we must know how deep the present Conservative government's connections go with this company and if the government has already entered into contracts with one or more of McKinsey's clients.

McKinsey and Company

There have been recent revelations about McKinsey and Company (not real news to those who read this blog, we exposed much of this months ago). However, I think we need to learn much more about exactly how much money to date has been earned out of the NHS by McKinsey, and how many NHS contracts have been awarded to McKinsey's clients and how many of these companies donate financially to the Conservative party. In the interests of transparency and good governance, this information must be exposed, however, as McKinsey is a private consultancy company, UK law has no precedence to force McKinsey to reveal information about its clients, even if it is in the public interest and McKinsey & Co refuse point blank to be open about who their clients are and what they do and what their interest is in the British NHS. Considering McKinsey's reluctance, is it appropriate that this country be kept in the dark about the dealings of private health care companies in the country's treasured health service?

During the debate for the "Publication of the government's strategic NHS Risk Register in the House of Commons on February 22 2012, Andrew Lansley,  the Health Secretary,  made a point of saying that he had not met with McKinsey.  I found this an extraordinary admission, not least because if true it beggars belief that that Lansley is trying to say he has not met with any of the companies that are fighting to be in powerful positions for providing services for the carve up of the £100 BILLION NHS budget.  

Has Andrew Lansley not met with David Bennett head of  Monitor who is going to be taking such a pivotal role supposedly  overseeing regulation of the private sector involvement in the NHS,  and that neither he nor the Prime Minister know anyone passing through the 'revolving door' of employment between the Government and McKinsey? Why is this government so intent on keeping the public in the dark and making deliberately misleading statements?

Monitor their roll is to authorise and regulate NHS foundation trusts and ir dentify actual and potential financial and non-financial problems. Monitor features heavily in Lansley's controversial Health and Social Care Reforms Bill 

David Bennett - Monitor , a former partner of the global US consultancy McKinsey for 20 years.  While at McKinsy, Mr Bennett produced a report which urged the purchase of off-the-shelf software from major commercial companies or paid them to adapt of one of their systems for the Blair government. This is the failed NHS National Programme for  IT project,  (NPfit). Note that this is the very programme which David Cameron and Andrew Lansley like to blame on the  Labour government and  the very programme which was actually sold to Tony Blair by a McKinsey team at a meeting in February 2002. The team chief was David Bennett, who is now the head of Monitor. Politicians are politicians and probably not IT experts, in fairness what would the majority of them know about IT systems? How easy was it for companies like McKinsey to leach money out of the British taxpayer for projects like this? It also begs the question; if the present government were so affronted by this failed IT contract then why are they hiring David Bennett and why are they heavily involved with McKinsey now?  Does Andrew Lansley still maintain he has had no connections at all with McKinsey?

  • McKinsey & Company paid for NHS regulator staff to go to lavish events
  • Many Health and Social Care Bill proposals drawn up by the McKinsey & company
  • Document shows it has used access to Government to help form policy and then share that information share information with other clients
  • McKinsey also worked closely with previous Tory government on disastrous Railtrack privatisation under John Major
Dr Nicolaus Henke McKinsey Director met with David Cameron, Prime MinisterDavid Willetts  Secretary of State for Science and Universities o discuss science issues in June 2011. Mr Henke is also a member of a No 10 ‘kitchen cabinet’ which advises the Prime Minister on health policy

Paul Bate former McKinsey Director and the former adviser to Tony Blair, Mr Bate was appointed by David Cameron to run the "kitchen cabinet" in March 201. There is a ‘revolving door’ between McKinsey and the health service means that there are numerous former employees of McKinsey already embedded in jobs which will be critical if the Health and Social Care Reforms Bill is enacted. 

Adrian Masters  Director of Strategy Monitor -  was previously Director of the Health Team in the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit. Before that his career included spells with McKinsey, IBM and Price Waterhouse. Has accepted hospitality from Mckinsey's.

Helen Whately - Former Conservative parliamentary candidate has shrugged off any suggestion of a conflict of interest, after it emerged she works for the same consultants helping draw up plans which could see the A+E or maternity unit at Kingston Hospital removed.
Her website states she works as a management consultant specialising in healthcare, mainly in the NHS but does not mention her employer McKinsey

The Tory government's plans for the NHS (and welfare, education and policing) are basically all about outsourcing. By outsourcing as many  NHS and social care services as possible, the government will hope to reduce its expenditure on the NHS and social care. This is the actual ethos of the Conservative party, they have always wanted "small government" and they have always wanted to rid themselves of the NHS which they have previously described as a "millstone", in effect and by their own admission, the Tories want "small government".
Small government to the Tories means that they can absolve themselves from the responsibility of providing NHS, social and welfare care, which is why there was so much consternation about a clause in the government's Health and Social Care Bill which will allow the Health Secretary to stop being responsible for providing healthcare to the public. The Tories aim is to privatise all our public services. This will almost certainly result in a fragmented health and welfare services, police and education will follow. This means that the private sector will be providing all our services, they will not be doing this for philanthropic reasons, they will be doing this with the sole intention of making a profit. It means they will be given a set amount of money by the government to run services and providing they can run those services for less money then they will pocket the profits. This will mean a cut in the standard and quality of care it will mean fewer services offered, the profit motive to cut jobs, wage levels, staff conditions or the quality of services will become all encompassing. These private companies are out to make profit, it is why they are in existence, they are not in existence to provide health education or policing for nothing, at the end of the day, money will be taken out of our public services and into the pockets of the very people that caused the global recession. many private health companies also have their fingers in Hedge fund pies, and venture capitalism etc. Anyone who doubts what I am saying read  John Nash here, or Emma Harrison here.


Robert said...

The story begins in July 2000. Alan Milburn was Secretary of State for Health and was in the middle of negotiating a so-called concordat with the Independent Healthcare Association. The concordat said that from now on the NHS would take advantage of private sector healthcare providers on a regular basis, not just exceptionally, as for example in the annual winter beds crisis. The Independent Healthcare Association’s chief negotiator was Dr Tim Evans. I interviewed Tim Evans at the time. He told me that his vision was that the NHS would be just ‘a kitemark attached to the institutions and activities of a system of purely private providers’.

But of course labour would say oh no we did not do that, but you did, it's just now you need that niche to fight the Tories on, fact is most in labour who are New labour and that's a majority would agree with the Tories idea.

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