Conference notes:

  • The NHS Accountable Care System contracts announced on 7 August impose a basis for 44+ local health services to replace England’s NHS, bypassing Parliamentary debate and legislative process.
  • On 9 August, the House of Commons Library revealed a doubling of the number of NHS sites proposed for sale. 117 of these currently provide clinical services.

Like their US templates, Accountable Care Systems will provide limited services on restricted budgets, replacing NHS hospitals with deskilled community units.  This will worsen health indicators like the long term increase in life expectancy, stalled since 2010. The ACSs and asset sell-off result directly from the 5 Year Forward View currently being implemented via ‘Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships’.  The 5 Year Forward View precisely reflects healthcare multinationals’ global policy aims.

Conference reaffirms its manifesto commitment to restore our NHS by reversing its privatisation and halting Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships. We therefore call on the Party to oppose and reverse funding cuts (ideally meeting Western European levels) but also 5 Year Forward View policy:

  • creating Accountable Care Systems;
  • replacing 7500 GP surgeries with 1500 “superhubs”;
  • downskilling clinical staff.
  • reclassifying NHS services as means-tested “social care”;
  • cementing the private sector role as Accountable Care System “partners” and as combined health/social care service providers.

Conference recognises that reversing this process demands more than amending the 2012 Health & Social Care Act and calls for our next manifesto to include existing Party policy to restore our fully-funded, comprehensive, universal, publicly-provided and owned NHS without user charges, as per the NHS Bill (2016-17)

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  1. Michael Fuller says:

    Although this primarily affects the English NHS, there must be implications for the NHS in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Health care may be devolved but terms and conditions are determined across the UK (with some modifications) and the system of professional registration is still UK wide. Has anybody examined the impact of these proposals on the NHS in the rest of the UK? Not to mention the implications for the wider social care arrangements across the different countries? The NHS may well be devolved but this needs to be a UK struggle.

  2. Roger Steer says:

    Promoting Accountable Care Organisations is something coming from the top through Simon Stevens as CEO of NHS England.
    While he still has the job.
    Wisely the other bits of the UK are keeping their distance and waiting to see what happens.
    There is nothing wrong with looking at new ways of working and new models of care but it is far from proven that they work, are soundly based or are deliverable (or are affordable).
    Our own analysis of STPs showed that they are far from demonstrating that they are deliverable plans.
    To proceed without legislative support, unproven evidence they are soundly based , will deliver either the reductions in demand or the savings hoped for is foolhardy and doomed to disappoint.
    The struggle will be at the frontline not in the lofty perches of the UK who are protected for now.

  3. david spencer says:

    Ideologically driven, the Tories are determined to destroy not just our right to properly funded health care, but all of our social structures. They have always hated any advance made by the working class. We have had to fight for every advance, and now the gloves are off, it is war, class war. Please do not underestimate the ruthless enemy facing us. For our kids future, we have to take this battle on. There is no future for them until we have a government which cares for us, the people who do all the work, and not the idle rich who live their parasitic lives on our backs.

  4. John Taylor says:

    If the aim is to restore the positive upward trend in life expectancy, top of the bill would be Sure Start and a raft of wellbeing, social care and public health measures to improve air and food quality etc. We need legislation to control private landlords and the gig economy etc.
    We have ideological Tory cuts which have hit social care and public health harder than the NHS; and primary care harder than district general hospitals.
    This ingrained direction of travel is akin to ripping out smoke alarms and sprinkler systems to buy another fire engine.

  5. healthaudit says:

    I understand the sentiment but when there is a fire you need a fire engine.
    Spend all you like on poverty alleviation and health prevention but I would like the NHS to keep its eye on healing the sick not get distracted by making the world a better place.

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