May vows the NHS is ‘not for sale’ post-Brexit, then quietly sells off a chunk straight afterwards

May Chatham House not for sale

Theresa May vowed to the public that the NHS is not for sale in any post-Brexit trade deal at Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs):

The NHS is not for sale and it never will be.

But soon after, it emerged that a private healthcare company will buy up ‘Out of Hours’ services for patients in Gloucestershire. This is the latest sell-off in the ongoing, stealthy privatisation of our NHS.

The deal

During Out of Hours times, profit-seeking company Care UK will now provide “face to face consultations with doctors and nurses”, “urgent medical support to patients in community hospitals”, and “responsive clinical advice to patients and other healthcare professionals (including paramedics) through telephone support”, among other types of care.

Care UK will take over the service under a ten month contract from June 2017.

Local opposition

Campaign group Stroud Against the Cuts expressed anger that “yet another local NHS service is set to be privatised”. The group cited Care UK slashing workers’ wages by up to 35% in Doncaster. And it pointed to an undercover probe in 2015 that found the company was putting patients at “huge risk”.

The ongoing privatisation and underfunding of our NHS is exactly why we’ve organised a coach to take people to the National NHS demonstration on Saturday March 4.

Going, going… gone

May’s Conservatives have taken us up another rung of the privatisation ladder in selling off another portion of services to Care UK.

While Donald Trump’s inauguration was distracting everyone, the government quietly advertised an NHS contract worth £515m. And only a few months before, May gifted for-profit Virgin Care direct control of Bath and North East Somerset Council’s core adult social care services as part of a £700m deal.

Care UK became set to take over these NHS services right after May promised that the NHS is not for sale post-Brexit. Deals like this show that May is lying through her teeth over Brexit.

Yet again, the reality does not match the rhetoric.

Get Involved!

– Get along to the national NHS protest on 4 March.

Featured image via Wikimedia

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