Author Page

Author Archives: Alex Scott-Samuel

Although it was written 130 years ago, William Morris’s essay on how we live and how we might live could equally have been written this year as an introduction to the Labour Party manifesto. The values to which Morris aspires are precisely those to which today’s Labour party aspires. The enormous public support for our manifesto and for our socialist leadership echo Morris’s yearnings for a truly egalitarian society based on social solidarity and valuing diversity and culture. The way in which Morris describes his idea of health carries the same ‘face validity’ as does the World Health Organisation’s famous […]
Read More

Tagged |

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 […]
Read More

– and the roots of the change go back to Davos The principles underlying the creation of the National Health Service exemplify solidarity expressed through policy: comprehensive care for all, without charge, publicly owned and provided, funded from progressive taxation. Nationally defined pay, conditions and quality standards completed the picture. Such a “single payer” system allows pooling of risk, so that resources can be allocated to the individuals and the areas where they are most needed: from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs. Prior to the Thatcher governments, there was a broad consensus regarding the nature […]
Read More

Labour’s top election priority must be re-nationalising the NHS in England and halting its accelerating slide into US-style privatisation. Theresa May, Jeremy Hunt and NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens are dismantling the NHS before our eyes – and getting away with a covert insurance and private sector-linked break-up and takeover which even Margaret Thatcher didn’t dare put into practice. Our shared public service, based on national funding and pooling of risk, is being fragmented into local health systems designed for corporate takeover and is being put out to commercial tender. In the latest example, Manchester put £6bn of our NHS […]
Read More

Tagged |

Jeremy Hunt’s STPs – the sustainability and transformation plans – are”a massive top down reorganisation that is destroying England’s national health service. Slash, Trash and Privatise is what the letters really stand for.  Hunt and his cheerleader Simon Stevens (director of NHS England) are getting away with murder. Even Margaret Thatcher didn’t dare to attack the NHS in the way they are doing. They are breaking up our shared national service and putting it out to tender – this week Manchester put £6 billion of our NHS on the open market. They deliberately did this before the May elections to […]
Read More

Tagged |

With thanks to John Brace, here is a video of the full discussion of the Cheshire and Merseyside Sustainability and Transformation Plans by Liverpool Health and Wellbeing Board yesterday – includes contributions from Mayor Joe Anderson, Sam Semoff, Alex Scott-Samuel and Tony Mulhearn

Tagged |

“Women who live in the least deprived parts of Kensington & Chelsea can expect almost a quarter of a century more of good health than their female counterparts in the most deprived part of the borough. For females at birth, the number of years an individual could expect to live in good health based on current rates – known as healthy life expectancy – differed by an average of 24.6 years between the most and least deprived parts of the borough” (ONS, 2015) These geographical patterns of health inequity are repeated across the country so that thenumber of years an individual […]
Read More

Tagged |

Health inequalities today are unfair or unjust differences in health determinants or outcomes within or between defined populations. Determinants are the causes and influences; outcomes  are diseases and states of health Health services are  thought to influence about 30-40% of  health status Unfair or unjust differences in health determinants: The world’s richest 85 people have a combined net worth of US$110 trillion – equal to the total assets of the poorest 50 percent of the world’s population: about 3.5 billion people Unfair or unjust differences in health outcomes in England – all cause mortality (in under 75s), 2006-08   Public policy determinants […]
Read More

Tagged |

While it can be politically expedient for governments to engage with health inequalities, in a neoliberal world they struggle to realistically propose actions which will substantially reduce them – such as tackling power inequalities, patriarchy-sustaining institutions or class inequality. A dominant ‘policy paradigm’ prioritising economic growth restricts even their ability to imagine alternative, equitable scenarios. In this context, politicians, policy makers and some researchers have devised a parallel fantasy world in which proximal, downstream and easily tackled exposures are put forward as viable solutions to the causes of health inequalities (and sometimes even positioned as the causes). The consequence of this […]
Read More

Tagged , |

A Week Is a Long Time in Politics: by Alex Scott-Samuel, and Clare Bambra For more than 30 years, socialism within the UK Labour Party – which was in government from 1997 to 2010 and is currently the main UK parliamentary opposition – has been in decline. Despite its origins as a party of and for the working class, Labour has become at best a social democratic party with strong neoliberal leanings. However, in the recent leadership election that followed Labour’s general election defeat in May 2015, the socialist Jeremy Corbyn confounded all expectations by winning Labour’s leadership with a […]
Read More

Tagged |

This is from the Labour Party policy website Integration Physical and mental health and social care should be provided by a single, public sector service. This should be operationally managed and delivered by local government, but most policy – and funding – should be defined and set centrally so as to avoid postcode lotteries. Integration means collaboration and coordination between all services – this has nothing whatsoever to do with ‘integrated care packages’ used by US Insurance companies and HMOs. Health and social care should not in any way involve or require co-payments, top-up fees, user charges or insurance.