Theresa May kept her new plan for selling off regional chunks of our NHS quiet at conference

Theresa May

As one might expect, Theresa May delivered a speech full of platitudes and warm words about the NHS at conference. But we aren’t hearing about fundamental new NHS plans from her, health secretary Matt Hancock or the mainstream media.

Selling off our NHS

Campaigners are pointing out that a huge NHS reorganisation is passing by unnoticed. The government plans to break up the NHS into Integrated Care Providers (ICPs) – essentially a rebrand of Accountable Care Organisations. Campaigners say this will break up the NHS into chunks, meaning the government can contract out whole areas to private providers under ‘ICP contracts’.

Keep Your NHS Public gives the following lowdown on ICPs, saying they:

  • Dis-integrate the NHS
  • Give control to non-NHS bodies potentially beyond scrutiny
  • Threaten public accountability
  • Hand over control to these non-NHS bodies for 10-15 years
  • Manage multi-billion-pound contracts for blocks of 500,000 population
  • Open the door to private companies winning these contracts

Under pressure from Labour and campaigners, the government has agreed to launch a consultation on the ICP plans. Members of the public have until 26 October to respond with their thoughts on the change.

Some have been getting involved on social media:

Since entering government in 2010, the Conservative Party has critically cut NHS budgets while dramatically increasing privatisation. In 2016-17, for example, non-NHS companies won 70% of contracts in England. So given the government has given no guarantee that it won’t hand huge ICP contracts to private sector, campaigners are very concerned.

If our NHS is privatised, we will only have to buy services back at a higher cost as a result. Shareholders will syphon profits out of the service. It’s not that we can’t afford the NHS, it’s that we cannot afford life without it.

Get Involved!

Sign the petition to scrap these ICP contracts.

Give ’em your thoughts through the government’s consultation on the ICP plans.

Featured image via ITV News/ YouTube

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