Marching to save the NHS, 3.2.18, photo Mary Finch

Marching to save the NHS, 3.2.18, photo Mary Finch   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Jon Dale, secretary, Unite Notts NHS branch (personal capacity)

Alan Milburn was Tony Blair’s health secretary for four years.

He brought in ‘foundation trusts’ – preparing more NHS privatisation. And he brought in many more ‘private finance initiatives’ (PFIs) that suck huge sums from the NHS.

Since leaving parliament in 2010 he has kept busy.

He joined corporate services giant PricewaterhouseCoopers as chair of its UK Health Industry Oversight Board, whose objective is to “drive change in the health sector, and assist PwC in growing its presence in the health market.”

He is chair of the European Advisory Board at Bridgepoint Capital, whose activities include financing private health companies making money from the NHS. He is also a member of Lloyds Pharmacy’s Healthcare Advisory Panel.

Milburn helped the Tory-Liberal coalition and then Tory governments as their ‘social mobility’ commissioner until resigning in December. Perhaps that’s why he now has time to take on a new job.

Private health group Ribera Salud has appointed him to its board of directors. It is 50% owned by the US health giant Centene, and 50% by the Catalan bank Banco Sabadell.

Ribera Salud has won part of a contract to run Nottingham’s ‘integrated care system’ for the NHS and city council – and aims to get more profitable contracts coming its way.

Milburn is still a member of Progress, the Blairite ‘party within a party’ trying to undermine Corbyn and policies like ending privatisation.

Defending the NHS means fighting to end that influence among Labour MPs and councillors – including by winning democratic rights like mandatory reselection and kicking out the Blairites.