NHS reforms

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

Four Derbyshire CCGs consider merger to deal with £95m deficit

15/08/2018Four Derbyshire CCGs consider merger to deal with £95m deficit

CCGs in Derbyshire are to discuss plans on how they can source £51m of savings. After a three-week public consultation period, which e... more >
Plans for single AO across three CCGs in doubt due to localism fears, but full merger still possible

15/08/2018Plans for single AO across three CCGs in doubt due to localism fears, but full merger still possible

Plans to create a single accountable officer (AO) for three major Leicestershire CCGs have been cast into doubt, as concerns were raised about a ... more >
NHS England blocks expansion plans for ‘GP at Hand’ app citing safety fears

15/08/2018NHS England blocks expansion plans for ‘GP at Hand’ app citing safety fears

Plans to expand the ‘GP at Hand’ smartphone app outside of London have been blocked by NHS chiefs citing patient safety concerns. ... 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 beyond doubt or dispute, other than in government, th... more > more last word articles >

the scalpel's daily blog

The NICE impact on falls and fragility fractures

10/08/2018The NICE impact on falls and fragility fractures

Falls should not be an inevitable part of ageing – and their snowball effect means the consequence of falls are far from limited to just hospital admissions, says Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive and director of health and social care at NICE Almost a third of over-65s in the UK have a fall at least once a year, with a... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

comment

Listening to the frontline

15/08/2018Listening to the frontline

Professor Wendy Reid, executive director of education & quality and national medical director at Health Education England (HEE), shares insig... more >
Medication without harm

15/08/2018Medication without harm

The World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Third Global Patient Safety Challenge, ‘Medication without harm,’ is ambitious, b... more >
Stepping up the fight against AMR

15/08/2018Stepping up the fight against AMR

Professor Mark Baker, director of the Centre for Guidelines at NICE, explains what the organisation is doing to support the fight against antimic... more >
Population health for the 21st century

15/08/2018Population health for the 21st century

NHS Partners Network (NHSPN) chief executive David Hare discusses the themes covered at his organisation’s Confed18 panel debate on populat... 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