Section 119 enforced by Hunt to prevent widespread financial collapse across NHS

Section 119 of the Care Bill currently going through Parliament is a lot more insidious than has been realised.   It allows trust special administrators (TSAs) to close down any hospital or A&E with just 40 days’ notice.   The doctors and consultants are rightly up in arms about it because, contrary to all the assurances given when the Lansley bill was forced through the Commons in 2012, the NHS will be able to be reconfigured without any agreement from the new GP commissioners who are supposed to be running the service, and without any proper consultation with patients and the public.   It will be seen as Hunt’s revenge after he was thwarted, when the South London healthcare trust went bust partly because of an unaffordable PFI, from purloining the adjacent Lewisham Hospital A&E and maternity services to fill the black hole.   The latter services were in good shape both financially and clinically, but in Hunt’s eyes they were useful prey to stave off a financial collapse in the adjoining locality.   The Court of Appeal however threw out the plan, so Hunt promptly brought the power back under new legislation.

But the main aim was not to override the new Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).   It was rather to stop a ripple of closures cascading across the NHS.   As the £20bn cuts over the current 5 year period, an unprecedented cumulative 4% a year, dig ever deeper into the muscle of the NHS, half of the acute trusts under the Trust Development Authority are now in serious financial trouble.   Some 39 of the 100 foundation trusts are similarly at risk.   Labour has published a list of 32 trusts which are now forecasting the worst deficits.   It is clear that if this new TSA power were not in place, allowing the seizing without redress of financially sound services nearby, the NHS could well be crippled by a wave of bankruptcies within years, if not months.   Hunt has claimed in the House that the new power is in the wider interests of patients; in reality it is purely in his interest to try to stave off imminent collapse.

The ruthlessness of the Tories in appropriating the NHS to their ideology is now being matched by their readiness to drain it of resources in order to finance budget tit-bits to assuage Tory back-benchers disgruntled by other government initiatives.   It is really shocking that Osborne is planning to block the expected 1% in NHS staff pay in order to fund road and other infrastructure projects to quieten Tory opposition to HS2.   If this leads to a strike, Labour must be outspoken in denouncing Tory callousness for the provocation causing it.

3 thoughts on “Section 119 enforced by Hunt to prevent widespread financial collapse across NHS

  1. This is by far and away the clearest and best explanation of how the NHS has already been abolished and particularly about he new right to supply that private providers will now enjoy which mean’s that they can sue the taxpayer for massive damages and loss of profits should Andy Burnham try to actually keep his deeply unconvincing and dishonest commitment to somehow magically reverse them.

    It also explains clearly how little real difference there is between Labour and the conservatives on this, other than cheap sound bites and how Blair in particular was up to his neck in it.

  2. right mps are now realising whot they are doing to our nhs you now all about Unum and its cowboy ways this seems whot they had planned with thatcher then tony blair are coming to fruitation were we will be buying that policy from them ops sorry after taking ones coppers to cover you yet were are the rest libdems the ones who don’t like this couldn’t you all fight to block this otherwise we doomed to the streets looking into our hospital unable to go in because a company from good old usa say no entry jeff3 from the

  3. `If we are going to still have an NHS by 2020 there is only one option and it isn’t voting labor conservative libddum or Green.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *