In England, Britain’s health facilities and workforces are up for sale. It is a form of robbery like that of the common land, when gentry turned labouring people away using the infamous Enclosure Acts or akin to the distribution of the land to robber barons, following the Norman Conquest. A large-scale privatisation of health services is taking place, in the form of 84 recent contracts worth £5.6 billion.
These include musculo-skeletal services (including orthopaedics, rheumatology, pain management, physiotherapy and podiatry) in Kent, Lincoln, Manchester, Basildon, Bexley and Bedfordshire together worth £366 million; prison health services in Leicester, Notts, Cheshire, Surrey, Kent and London to the tune of £138 million and transport services in Hampshire, Sheffield and Oxfordshire totalling £96 million. The handover of public assets extends to services for maternity, children, young people, the elderly, cardiovascular care, dermatology, mental health, radiology, wheelchair maintenance, estates, as well as to whole community services and hospitals.
These sell-offs vary in value from a couple of million pounds to over £100 million such as in the cases of London prisons, and muscular skeletal services in Kent and Bedfordshire extending upwards to several hundred million pounds in cases such as the Gloucestershire Community Health (half a billion), George Eliot Hospital in Warwickshire (0.63 billion), Midlands pathology services (0.77 billion), and Cambs and Peterborough elderly services (0.8 billion).
We see in this give away, a spread of the contracts around the country; a variety of size of contract in terms of monetary value and a range of coverage of service, from local specialities to national services. The widespread and comprehensive nature of this can lead us to draw one conclusion; the ConDem government intends to privatise the entire National Health Service.