Health Policy

23.05.18

Hawking-backed fight against ‘unlawful’ NHS privatisation reaches High Court

Legal proceedings will begin today at the High Court with a campaign group challenging the government over plans to implement accountable care organisations (ACOs), which they claim is an attempt to increase private services operating in the NHS.

The JR4NHS group, founded by doctors and academics and strongly supported by world-renowned scientist Prof Stephen Hawking until his death earlier this year, are fighting against the creation of ACOs  because they argue they will act as private partnership bodies incorporating hospitals, community services, and councils.

The judicial review challenging these transformation plans will be heard in the High Court this week.

Campaign group 999 Call for the NHS are also concerned that the ACO contract is unlawful under current legislation and fear the plans would ‘Americanise’ the health service, lead to restrictions and denial of NHS care.

The ACO model of care has previously been implemented in the United States, with lessons being shared between New York and devolved UK health bodies, such as in Greater Manchester. But an analysis by the King’s Fund suggested that the move to this system would be “deeply unpopular” with the general public.

Alleged issues arisen due to private companies having stronger influence in the NHS include the bidding process, which is time-limited, meaning providers would have to bid for contracts every 10 years – creating great uncertainty on the quality and timescale of care for the UK population.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, council chair at the BMA, which is supporting the judicial review, said the plans “have the potential to have a far-reaching negative impact on patients, doctors and the wider NHS workforce.”

“Such transformation plans sit outside of existing legislation and frameworks and risk handing an area’s entire NHS budget to private providers through competitive tendering. This brings with it all the problems associated with commissioning such companies to handle important public services,” Nagpaul added.

But in April, an NHS England spokesperson said this is a “mistaken effort which would frustrate the move to more integrated care between hospitals, mental health and community services.”

“The effect would be to fragment care and drive apart the very people who are now rightly trying to work more closely together on behalf of the patients they jointly serve,” they explained.

The court hearing is expected to last for two days.

 Image credit: Van Tine Dennis, PA Images

Enjoying NHE? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

latest healthcare news

NHS wins landmark drug ruling which could save millions of pounds

21/09/2018NHS wins landmark drug ruling which could save millions of pounds

The NHS has won a landmark legal battle which could save the health service “hundreds of millions a year” after defeating two interna... more >
Partnership forged between pharma body and academic health network in new five-year deal

21/09/2018Partnership forged between pharma body and academic health network in new five-year deal

A new five-year partnership aimed at accelerating the introduction and uptake of transformative biomedical innovations in the NHS has been agreed... more >
Trust chief executive resigns amidst infanticide investigation

21/09/2018Trust chief executive resigns amidst infanticide investigation

The chief executive of the Countess of Chester Hospital FT (COCH) has resigned amid an ongoing police investigation into eight baby deaths in its... more >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital e... read more >

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now bey... more > more last word articles >

the scalpel's daily blog

Lord Darzi: Seize the opportunity

19/09/2018Lord Darzi: Seize the opportunity

Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham is the Paul Hamlyn chair of surgery at Imperial College, a surgeon working in the NHS and, from 2007-09, was health minister under Labour. Here, he highlights the importance of innovation in the NHS, and the exciting prospects it might bring if we’re brave enough to seize the opportunities ahead. S... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

comment

The Hospital Energy Project

19/09/2018The Hospital Energy Project

The Hospital Energy Project is an ambitious engineering scheme to replace outdated systems at Oxford University NHS FT’s hospitals and redu... more >
Social media's role in health

19/09/2018Social media's role in health

Social media has a massive role to play in health – infection prevention and control in particular, write Brett Mitchell, professor of nurs... more >
Dickson: Hancock finds an NHS in need of digital rebirth

19/09/2018Dickson: Hancock finds an NHS in need of digital rebirth

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, takes a look at Matt Hancock's priorities and agenda around workforce, technology and pr... more >
GDEs: Never stop learning

19/09/2018GDEs: Never stop learning

Paul Charnley, director of IT and information at Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS FT, discusses what his organisation has learnt from bein... more >

interviews

Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

24/01/2018Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

The NHS plays a part in the country’s wellness – but it’s far from being all that matters. Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Pu... more >
Cutting through the fake news

22/11/2017Cutting through the fake news

In an era of so-called ‘fake news’ growing alongside a renewed focus on reducing stigma around mental health, Paul Farmer, chief exec... more >
Tackling infection prevention locally

04/10/2017Tackling infection prevention locally

Dr Emma Burnett, a lecturer and researcher in infection prevention at the University of Dundee’s School of Nursing and Midwifery and a boar... more >
Scan4Safety: benefits across the whole supply chain

02/10/2017Scan4Safety: benefits across the whole supply chain

NHE interviews Gillian Fox, head of eProcurement (Scan4Safety) programme at NHS Supply Chain. How has the Scan4Safety initiative evolved sin... more >

health service focus

View all News