As Plain Speaker reported in early October, Monitor is to investigate the reasons why our Hospitals Trust is facing a deficit at the end of this financial year.
Monitor is the quango set up under the 2012 Health & Social Care Act, in order to open up the NHS to EU competition law as a way of speeding up the pace of NHS privatisation.
Moves by Paul Chandler, Regional Director at Monitor, to blame the Trust’s management for the deficit does not distract from the self-evident fact that the looming deficit is the result of central government tightening the funding screws on the NHS.
This year, the government has told the Trust to make “efficiency savings” – ie cuts – of £20m. After years of “efficiency savings”, there are no longer ways for the Trust to safely make such a big cut to its spending.
To date, the Trust has only identified ways to save £10m of the required £20m without risking patient safety – and at Calderdale Council’s Adult Health and Social Care Scrutiny Panel in July this year, the Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group Finance Chief said the commissioners would not allow the Trust to make any cuts that would threaten patient safety.
This is the recipe for the Trust’s financial meltdown: Add to this £10m funding cut that the Trust is unable to make, the £4.2m that it has to hand over to Calderdale Council via the so-called Better Care Fund. (This is the Coalition government’s scheme to take money from the NHS to prop up the Council’s adult social care services, that have been brutally cut because of central government funding cuts.)
The deficit is nothing to do with the Trust’s leadership. There is nothing they can do in the face of this concerted attack on the NHS by central government.
At least 40 Trusts across the country are also facing a deficit at the end of this financial year. The Foundation Trust Network as well as respected health economists have been warning for months that the government’s refusal to fund the NHS at a level that would keep pace with population growth and rising demand for NHS services could only end in tears.
Those with eyes to see have been absolutely clear from the start that the 2012 stealth- privatising Health and Social Care Act aimed to dismantle the NHS by starving it of funding and selling off its most profitable services to private health care providers.
That plan is now coming to fruition.
The endgame is for Monitor to call in its special administrators to decide which basic services the hospitals Trust must continue to provide, and which can be transferred elsewhere.
Monitor’s press release says that the Trust’s latest financial projections show that by the end of the financial year it could face a deficit of around £4m, when it originally planned for a £3million surplus.
Paul Chandler, Regional Director at Monitor, said:
“This investigation will scrutinise the trust’s finances and examine ways to effectively address these problems on behalf of local patients.
“We will also look into whether the trust’s leadership could have prevented the recent deterioration in its finances.”
The Monitor press release also says:
“The trust has been working with its commissioners and other local partners to make it sustainable in the long term. Monitor believes that this work should continue, but at greater pace.”
“Make it sustainable” is code for “cutting services that it can’t afford under the current funding cuts regime” -aka efficiency savings. Not to mention the loss of £4.2m to Calderdale Council’s adult social care services, or the privatisation of services previously run by the Trust, such as the wheelchair services contract.
So Monitor is telling the Trust to make more and faster cuts to the services it provides for us.
The Trust’s press release says that the Trust’s Chief Executive Owen Williams agrees with Monitor about this,
“The sheer scale of our financial challenge is there for all to see and we fully support Monitor’s view that we must continue to work with commissioners and other local partners to ensure the Trust is sustainable in the long term, but at greater pace.”
The clear goal of 30 years of NHS privatisation, started under the Thatcher government, is to end up with a rump service for those of us who are too ill and/or too poor to qualify for private health insurance, while the rest take out private health insurance and receive treatment from private healthcare companies.
The Monitor press release also talks about possible regulatory action against our Hospitals Trust.
This could include finding the Trust in breach of its licence to operate and brining in a Special Administrator to start the carve up.
Monitor, the NHS privatisation quango, is chaired by Baroness Hanham. Social investigations has revealed that a Head Hunter firm with financial links to the Conservative Baroness has been able to gain revenue directly from changes that took place because of the Health and Social Care Act on which the Baroness voted.
In addition, the Chairman of the company that the Monitor Board Chair Baroness Hanham has financial links to, has funded the Conservative party.
Dr David Bennett, Monitor Chief Executive, is a former senior partner at McKinsey. McKinsey is one of the management companies that is a member of NHS England’s Commissioning Support Industry Group. (CSIG)
The CSIG is funded and chaired by United Health, the global American-based private healthcare insurance company that used to employ NHS England head Simon Stevens.
The CSIG is planning for the privatisation of Commissioning Support Units in 2015 or 2016.
McKinsey was also the driving force behind the New Labour government’s NHS marketisation and its promotion of the American private health care company system of integrated care in the community.
This is the system that the Calderdale and Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Groups are now rolling out, without any public consultation, to replace acute and emergency hospital services.
This is how to contact Monitor to make an enquiry or complaint
133-155 Waterloo Road
Switchboard 020 3747 0000