Figures released by the BMA today show the extent of creeping privatisation in NHS under Health and Social Care Act
The investigation by the BMJ found that a third of NHS contracts have been awarded to private sector providers since the Health and Social Care Act came into force.
Responding to the findings the BMA council chair, Dr Mark Porter, said:
“These figures show the extent of creeping privatisation in the NHS since the Health and Social Care Act was introduced. The Government flatly denied the Act would lead to more privatisation, but it has done exactly that.
"Enforcing competition in the NHS has not only led to services being fragmented, making the delivery of high-quality, joined-up care more difficult, but it has also diverted vital funding away from front-line services to costly, complicated tendering processes.
"What's worse is that there isn't even a level playing field as private firms often have an unfair advantage over smaller, less well-resourced competitors, especially those from the NHS and social enterprises. To undo this damage we need an honest and frank debate about how we can put right what has gone wrong without the need for another unnecessary and costly top-down reorganisation.”
We might think this doesn't matter provided the services are provided. But consider that if funding is heading for private sector providers it won't be available in a cash-strapped NHS. Departments in the end will close and more and more services will be outsourced.