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Author Archives: Stewart Player

The focus of the first article in this series was on Centene’s current – and anticipated – role within NHS England’s Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) programme. While brief mention was made of the corporation’s background, this article will examine it more fully, notably as the market leader within US Medicaid Managed Care (MMC), the private sector administration of state services for the poor, pregnant women, elderly adults and people with disabilities. It also provides care for 1 in every 3 children. Given the increasingly evident parallels between ICSs and MMC, it is worth looking at what the English public can […]
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The news that Sir Simon Stevens was standing down from his post as NHS England Chief Executive in July prompted some remarkable tributes from the Health Service Journal (HSJ), even by own standards. The editorial said that Stevens had managed to save the health service on no less than three occasions and has been the most important figure in NHS history since Aneurin Bevan. It also said that Stevens was “the greatest strategic health policy thinker of his generation”, and in this point at least the journal is accurate. STRATEGIC THINKING Back in May 2004 the Guardian’s John Carvel asked […]
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The recent buyout of a chain of London GP practices by the giant US insurer, Centene, prompted considerable media coverage last month with many Labour MPs and campaigning groups claiming the deal represented ‘privatization by stealth’. However, while this description may have been apt in 2005 it is now entirely outmoded as there is nothing covert nor slow about the process anymore. Instead, what is taking place – and has been for many years – is a full-blown, US-led takeover, by the same corporate interests, adopting the same instruments and organizational structures and effected by the deployment of key personnel […]
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As the NHS passes its 70th birthday the recent report from the Health and Social Care Committee on Integrated Care could find little wrong with the direction of travel within the health service. While critics might cavil about the threat of further privatization, the Committee argued instead that the service was entering a new phase of collaboration rather than competition. Notions about the Americanization of the NHS were misplaced, due in part to the terminology surrounding Accountable Care Organizations, while the somewhat less than transparent introduction to this new phase had added to the confusion. Such problems could however be remedied by a “clear and compelling […]
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How Simon Stevens imposed a reorganisation designed for transnational capitalism on England’s NHS. Recently shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said his first job in government would be to launch an independent review of every single Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) and to halt service closures. He said plans for service changes had “been decided behind closed doors, with no genuine involvement of local people.” In response Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said, ‘These local plans are developed by local doctors and communities, backed by the top doctors and nurses of the NHS.” Both can’t be right, and indeed casting the net […]
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