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Please read & act on this long but incredibly important #NHS thread...

Gimms founding member and longtime dedicated public service campaigner at @ThePublicMatter Deborah Harrington, who when asked 'How much of the NHS has already been privatised?'

Answered -
Pretty much all of it.

While all eyes are on companies like Virgin thinking they are the threat the NHS itself has been broken up into over 500 ‘provider bodies’ which are a mix of the arms’ length public interest companies, private and voluntary sectors. 1/
The ‘NHS’ Foundation Trusts are companies which run subsidiary companies and compete with one another for contracts and sub-contract to the private sector for ‘extra capacity’. 2/
They are now merging to form Integrated Care Systems and some have already created ‘special purpose vehicles’ (the kind of company with multiple partners used in PFI) to lower their financial ‘risk’ of insolvency but also to profit share. 3/
That takes them out of being public companies into being private ones and some of the ‘collaboratives’ as they are also known have the private sector in the new companies with them. 4/
That’s absolutely the case in the first groups of mental health providers because the private sector is such a huge player in mental health.
CCGs act as insurers for our state insurance system, but aren’t obligated to provide the same level of care(let alone comprehensive care).5
They have core services they must provide but they can ration or refuse to provide a lot of other things. That includes cataracts, hip and knee replacements, hernias and varicose veins, unless they have thrombosed, prolapsed or otherwise create an immediate danger. 6/
Other treatments such as IVF and vasectomy are also on the reduced or removed list. Of course this creates a market for those who can afford to pay outside the NHS or, alternatively, you can be an ‘NHS private’ patient. 7/
Some hospitals have greatly increased their private patients and some others have formed joint companies with US hospital groups like HCA to provide private health care. 8/
Hospitals, clinics and GP surgeries which used to be publicly owned or owned by the GP partners have been sold or taken into ownership of NHS Property Services and have had to move either into PFI buildings or .... 9/
otherwise rent in purpose built accommodation owned and provided by the private sector (and very profitable business it is too...). 10/
Maintenance, cleaning, hospitality and portering services, plus ambulances and patient transport all went over to the private sector for the most part decades ago. 11/
The mistake is in thinking that ‘privatisation’ means the existing private sector taking over (although it has with all the property, etc and certain significant sectors like community care, mental health and GPs) and us being charged insurance. 12/
We don’t have the NHS any more.

We are half way to Medicare (which will be and already is, depending where you live, the second tier of a two tier system) with all the right business processes, billing systems, etc in place. 13/
Until recently Centene, a major US insurance company, owned The Practice - the largest GP group in the country which spreads from Birmingham up to the NE and down to London - but it has now sold it to a US private equity group. 14/
Optum, the UK subsidiary of US giant United Health, provides services to the second largest GP group and is the fund holder for the new GP federations. 15/
Optum also runs referral checking services in various parts of the country where it decides whether your GP’s referrals for tests or to see a consultant are permitted or not. 16/
That’s why @AllysonPollock
Prof Allyson Pollock wrote her NHS (Reinstatement) Bill.
Not to get rid of the likes of Virgin (which it will also do) but to return the hospitals to public service. 17/

Please write to your MP we must renationalise our #NHS
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