More on Hinchingbrooke from Dr Louise Irvine today

Dr Louise Irvine has issued an update to the statement she released this morning regarding Hinchingbrooke Hospital. This updated statement is necessary in light of the Care Quality Commission publication of a scathing report revealing a catalogue of serious failings at Hinchingbrooke Hospital. Louise says:

Louise-IrvineNot only was Circle making a financial mess of running Hinchingbrooke but it was putting patients, including children, at risk. The Care Quality Commission has released an explosive report revealing the hospital is unsafe, uncaring and poorly-led. It’s no coincidence that privately-run Hinchingbrooke is the first hospital to be rated inadequate for caring. These damning CQC findings about Hinchingbrooke should sound the death-knell for creeping NHS privatisation.

Louise has additionally been cited in the press today.

The NHS privatisation experiment is unravelling before our eyes. (New Statesman, 9th January 2015)

Louise-IrvineThe fact that Circle is dumping the contract on financial grounds, citing a lack of funding and pressure on the casualty department, is certainly no surprise to many, not least the National Health Action Party founding member and Save Lewisham Hospital veteran Dr Louise Irvine.

She says: “This is exactly what we warned and predicted would happen and illustrates the folly of private sector involvement in our NHS. When the going gets tough, the private sector gets going – and dumps NHS patients. The privatisation experiment has lamentably failed”.

Private firm running Hinchingbrooke Hospital pulls out over funding cuts and record A&E attendances (Mirror, 9th January 2015, 18.28)

Louise-IrvineDr Louise Irvine, of the National Health Action Party, which campaigns against privatisation, said: “This is exactly what we warned would happen.

“When the going gets tough, the private sector gets going – dumping patients and leaving the NHS to foot the bill and clear up the mess.”

Private company says it can no longer run NHS hospital (BMJ, paywall, 9th January 2015)

Louise-IrvineLouise Irvine, a GP in Lewisham and member of the National Health Action Party, said that the withdrawal showed that “the privatisation experiment has lamentably failed.”

She said, “It’s revealing to look at the language used, with Circle saying the franchise is ‘unsustainable.’ This perfectly illustrates the difference between the private sector, which seeks profits, and public NHS trusts, which prioritise patient care and don’t walk away from patients when they realise they can’t make money from them. This shows exactly why the market has no place in healthcare. The NHS will now have to pick up the pieces.”

Circle Holdings pulls out NHS contract hours before hospital it ran was rated ‘inadequate‘ (Independent, 9th January 2015)

Louise-IrvineHowever, Dr Louise Irvine of the National Health Action Party, which campaigns against privatisation in the NHS, said the case proved “when the going gets tough, the private sector gets going and dumps NHS patients.”

“The privatisation experiment has lamentably failed. The NHS will now have to pick up the pieces,” she said.

First private NHS hospital deal collapses (FT, paywall, 9th January 2015)

Louise-IrvineWhen the going gets tough, the private sector gets going — and dumps NHS patients,” said Dr Louise Irvine, a GP who is standing against health secretary Jeremy Hunt in the general election as a member of the National Health Action party. “The privatisation experiment has lamentably failed and the NHS will now have to pick up the pieces,” she added.

In other National Health Action Party news, there were 2 letters in today’s online Guardian (tomorrow’s print edition). This is the first:

You report (Cameron defends NHS in worst week for A&E, 7 January) the current intense difficulties in the NHS and the statement from the King’s Fund chief executive that “the NHS is fundamentally broken”. Earlier, Rowena Mason (Report, 1 January) highlighted the impact of the smaller political parties (Ukip, SNP, Greens) on the outcome of this May’s general election. She did not mention the National Health Action party (NHA), which is a national response to the long-term political failures that have inflicted this chaos and damage on the NHS.

We and many others vigorously back this newcomer to electoral politics, which brings these failures into focus: the waste, mismanagement and dishonesty of the major political parties. The NHS tops the political agenda in the minds of many voters. In order to attract votes, the big parties pay lip-service to its importance while simultaneously allowing it to be crushed by privatisation, ruinous private finance initiatives, harmful marketisation and dangerous fragmentation. The Tories and Lib Dems are clearly disingenuous in their claims to treasure the NHS, having effectively abolished it with the Health and Social Care Act. While the Labour party is focusing its campaign on the NHS, their track record is not reassuring.

The NHA is not just about the NHS in isolation. To pay for our medical care we need a strong, balanced and stable economy. Our health depends on social justice and a healthy environment and lifestyle. The NHS is badly served by the current big party system. It would flourish better in a healthier democracy, with proportional representation and more parties with focused agendas, among which the NHA has a vital role to play.

Dr Helen Salisbury, National Health Action PartyIn Oxford West and Abingdon (Conservative majority: 176) there is a winnable seat and an excellent NHA candidate <Dr Helen Salisbury>, who joins 11 NHA party candidates standing in other constituencies. These provide a unique opportunity to secure the presence of one or more MPs in parliament whose election would be symbolic of the public’s desire for a better political system and the need to truly protect the NHS, as a priceless national asset, from careless politicians and corporate predators. This is part of the current wider developments in new and alternative forms of progressive political expression. For the first time in decades, we and others can vote for a party that really matters to everyone.
Prof Chris Redman Emeritus professor of obstetric medicine,Iain Chalmers Health services researcher, Prof Klim Mcpherson Emeritus professor of epidemiology, Prof John S Yudkin Emeritus professor of medicine, Dr Oliver Ormerod Consultant cardiologist, Dr Peggy Frith Retired consultant opthalmologist, Dr David McCoy Senior lecturer in primary care and public health

This is the second letter:

As is shown by the coincidence of the moving account of 24 hours in an A&E doctor’s life, with the withdrawal of Circle from its contract to manage Hinchingbrooke hospital (the, 9 January), the NHS is too vital an institution to be left either to the binary war-rhetoric of politicians, or to the profit-driven private sector.

Clive PeedellDr Clive Peedell, co-leader of the National Health Action party, flagged as long ago as 2013 that Circle would be likely to walk away from Hinchingbrooke once it had put £5m of its own money in. Once again, he predicted, the NHS would pick up the pieces, and local people would suffer.
Pen Keyte

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