Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 16 November 2011

NHS under attack

Stop the privatisation vultures

A Huntingdon health activist and socialist
Privatisation, cartoon by Alan Hardman

Privatisation, cartoon by Alan Hardman

On 10 November, a 1 billion contract was announced for the private firm Circle Health to run Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon, for ten years 'on behalf of the NHS'. It's the first private company to take over the running of a NHS hospital.

However, Circle Health has admitted in its share prospectus that its business strategy is under strain as it attempts to acquire more NHS hospitals and that this "could affect its ability to provide a consistent level of service to its patients".

The media has repeated time and again that Hinchingbrooke is a 'failed' hospital with 40 million of debts. They forgot to mention that half of this debt had been created in error, and not rectified, by the previous Labour-run Department of Health failing to pay agreed tariffs for patient services. The remainder relates to the overly-grandiose rebuilding of the hospital front, which now resembles a small airport!

Not one report mentioned that Hinchingbrooke has no operating deficit at all. However, several key departments had been partially or fully closed. The mental health Acer Ward has closed, bowel cancer surgery cut, and a specialist maternity unit removed. There is talk of moving much of stroke care to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

Job cutting

Circle now claims that the hospital will be run with no job losses and no reduction in service, while reducing the 40 million deficit and still making a profit for shareholders. It doesn't add up. Exactly how Circle intends to achieve this miracle, other than by 'cutting NHS bureaucracy' ie cutting jobs and standards, is not explained.

Moreover, Circle had debts of 82 million at the start of the year, though 43.5 million is underwritten by the Department of Health.

Hinchingbrooke could be so downgraded that it could lose its A&E, remaining as little more than a rehabilitation centre or convalescence hospital for NHS patients with no one to care for them 'in the community', like a modern day workhouse hospital.

Trade unions have expressed their anger at the takeover by Circle. Unison has around 650 members who are worried about their jobs, and the Royal College of Nursing fears major job losses will be inevitable to pay for the privatisation.

The takeover of Hinchingbrooke Hospital by Circle is the thin end of a very thick privatisation wedge that the Con-Dem government is pursuing in the NHS. A policy made easier because the previous Blair and Brown Labour governments accelerated privatisation measures.

Circle's backers include former Goldman Sachs banker Paul Ruddock who has generously donated to the Tory party.

The trade unions together with the local communities must launch a national campaign to save the NHS from destruction.

They must demand an end to privatisation measures and the reintegration of such services back into a publicly owned, fully funded, and democratically run national health service.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 16 November 2011:

Fighting the cuts

Strike together, Protest together, Win together

Defend the right to strike and protest

All out together on 30 November

Socialist Party workplace news

Southampton - opposing all the cuts

Police kettle electricians

Electricians march to defend pay and conditions

Sparks battle pay cuts

Reinstate Vik Chechi

Workplace news in brief

Socialist history

The first shop stewards movement

International socialist news and analysis

Berlusconi quits as debt crisis hits eurozone's third largest economy

End the dictatorship of the markets!

Irish Socialist MEP Paul Murphy speaks out: solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza will continue

Socialist Party news and analysis

Murdochgate scandal shows need for democratic and accountable media

Stop the government austerity juggernaut

Jobs crisis - 'We can't afford capitalism'!

Fast news

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

NHS under attack

Wales: Fight the NHS cuts

Thousands say no to fees, cuts and privatisation

Riot cops assault Occupy protesters

Cardiff occupation evicted

The Socialist - Readers' comments

Cuts kill - Poverty, despair and a suicide pact

Poppy mania for bosses...


Home   |   The Socialist 16 November 2011   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleTories' NHS cash insult - mass action can save our NHS

triangleCuts and NHS crisis result in 'excess' elderly deaths

triangleHealth bosses move goalposts on A&E waiting times: more funds for our NHS now!

triangleFighting NHS and fire services cuts and closures in Merseyside

triangleSave our NHS - oust the Tory wreckers!


triangleAnother victory against NHS privatisation

triangleHealth services in meltdown - fight to save our NHS

triangleTories ensured Carillion meltdown went unchecked

triangleBlairites plan to expand their very own academy chain


triangleKing George A&E faces closure again

triangleThousands march against overnight closure of Shropshire A&E

triangleCare crisis cashing in


triangleSan Francisco Bay Area's toxic smoke crisis and capitalism's mismanagement

triangleEnd "poverty, ill health and despair":a benefits adviser speaks out against the cuts

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



UCU Wales suspends FE strike action


Domestic violence

Women's Lives Matter national meeting - a determination to fight cuts to domestic violence services



Jobs and homes not racism - kick the Tories out!



New twist in Derby TUSC election agent case


Socialist Students

Socialist Students LJMU victory



Workplace news in brief



Veolia waste workers vote for action in Cheshire



Hull council workers fight to protect sick pay



Spontaneous hull walkouts stick two fingers up at Tory anti-trade union laws


Chris Baugh

Select Chris Baugh as Left Unity AGS candidate



Strike action saves jobs at Cammell Laird shipyard



'Stansted 15' - outrageous guilty verdict


Fighting Fund

Give us a bumper Christmas cash boost!



Liverpool seafarers demand better conditions



WHSmith: hands off our Post Offices!

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

December 2018

November 2018

October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018