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

Staying curious with the Shadow Board Programme

20/03/2019Staying curious with the Shadow Board Programme

Kirstie Stott, director of The Inspiring Leaders Network, discusses organisational and system curiosity alongside the work of the Shadow Board Pr... more >
Fiction as Therapy

20/03/2019Fiction as Therapy

Elaine Bousfield of ZunTold Publishing – a press specialising in fiction for children and young people – discusses ‘Fiction as ... more >
Capturing funds for the NHS estate

20/03/2019Capturing funds for the NHS estate

Aahsan Rahman, department head of town planning at NHS Property Services (NHSPS), looks at an alternative and perhaps underutilised funding sourc... 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

Personal Health Budgets: empowering individuals

20/03/2019Personal Health Budgets: empowering individuals

Jon Baker, PHBChoices director at NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) believes that the extension of Personal Health Budgets (PHBs) is a great opportunity for clinical commissioning groups (CCG) to expand and improve care provision – provided that the right infrastructure is in place. The personalisation agenda is transforming ou... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

comment

Staying curious with the Shadow Board Programme

20/03/2019Staying curious with the Shadow Board Programme

Kirstie Stott, director of The Inspiring Leaders Network, discusses organisational and system curiosity alongside the work of the Shadow Board Pr... more >
Fiction as Therapy

20/03/2019Fiction as Therapy

Elaine Bousfield of ZunTold Publishing – a press specialising in fiction for children and young people – discusses ‘Fiction as ... more >
Capturing funds for the NHS estate

20/03/2019Capturing funds for the NHS estate

Aahsan Rahman, department head of town planning at NHS Property Services (NHSPS), looks at an alternative and perhaps underutilised funding sourc... more >
The digital revolution for healthcare is now!

20/03/2019The digital revolution for healthcare is now!

Richard Corbridge, chief digital & information officer at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, focuses on the practices his trust has put in p... more >

interviews

How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

24/10/2018How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to surging demand burdening acute health providers over the winter months,... more >
RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

24/10/2018RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

The president of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has told NHE that the college’s new headquarters based in Liverpool will become a hu... more >
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 >

health service focus

View all News