Letter To The Bath Chronicle About the NHS Changes and Circle

h1. Letter To The Bath Chronicle About the NHS Changes and Circle

p(meta). 21st November 2011

Here’s a letter I sent to the Bath Chronicle that was published this week.

Sir,

The recent news that Hinchingbrooke Hospital is being handed-over to the private healthcare company Circle to run is a timely reminder of the fact that our MP Don Foster voted for the controversial Health and Social Care Bill.

Despite coalition assurances that this would not lead to privatisation, we are already seeing that this is as true as David Cameron’s promise of ‘no top-down reorganisation of the NHS’. After all, what is the handing-over of an NHS hospital to the private sector if not privatisation?

Circle are not the friendly sounding ‘John Lewis’ style mutual often portrayed - more than half of the business is owned by ex bankers and speculators including Tory party donors such as Paul Ruddock and Crispin Odey. It is based in the tax haven of the British Virgin Islands, so while NHS money is going to make some Tory donors very wealthy they are not even going to pay tax on the profits. It’s worth remembering that it was Labour who started negotiations to give control of Hinchingbrooke to profit-making companies, and it was is their market-based NHS changes that allowed the current coalition NHS dismemberment to take place so quickly.

This is the sort of NHS that Don Foster and his coalition supporters voted for. They are trading our health for their donors’ profits. The Green Party is the only party that is fighting for a public NHS working for people, not profit.

Dominic Tristram Bath and North East Somerset Green Party Odd Down Bath