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Despite the government’s denials Unite believes that the privatisation of our NHS is increasing. The Health and Social Care Act (2012) has unleashed chaos into the health service. A full competitive market is trampling on cooperation and fragmenting service delivery, paving the way for private companies to cherry pick the most profitable treatments.

 The government’s multi million pound shake up, coupled with an unprecedented £20 billion of so-called efficiency savings are putting our NHS at grave risk. Patient satisfaction has plummeted from an all time high to of 70 per cent to just 58 per cent in a year. Waiting queues are soaring and our A&Es are in crisis.

 In just three years £7 billion of new NHS contracts have flooded the private health care market– a figure set to soar to £20 billion in the next few years.

  • 106 companies have been licensed to provide NHS community services
  • 358 is the number of GP surgeries run by Virgin Care
  • Virgin Care runs more than 100 services across the country, including sexual health services in Oldham, a £120 million contract to run Devon children's integrated health and social care community services, and a £500 million contract to run community health services in Surrey
  • Serco has won a £140 million contract to run community healthcare in Suffolk and a £32 million contract to run out-of-hours GP services in Cornwall
  • Sainbury's - the supermarket giant - now has over 250 pharmacies across the UK, dispensing medicines behind the NHS logo to outpatients and Healthcare at Home for South Tees Hospitals NHS foundation Trust
  • Based on the tax haven of island of Guernsey, Specsavers - the optometrists and eye wear specialists - has bagged more than 30 NHS contracts to supply hearing aids and community audiology services on high streets across the country. It is one of several private firms approved to provide NHS services under the government's 'any qualified provider' scheme
  • 313,000 patients waited for four hours or longer in hospital accident and emergency departments, the highest level since 2004
  • More than 220 operations a day were cancelled with less than 24 hours' notice during the first three months of 2013
  • 24 per cent rise in the number of hospitals turning away patients in need of emergency care

But this is just the tip of the iceberg

Remember to share your stories of what is happening to our NHS near you. If you work in the NHS tell your MP about job cuts and staff shortages. Has Virgin or Serco moved in to run your service? Are services being cut and waiting queues getting longer? How are the cuts affecting you? But you don’t need to work in the NHS to lobby your MP. Join a local NHS campaign group and help put the pressure on parliament. 

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