On Monday, the Isle of Wight Association of Local Councils is meeting with
Karen Baker, CEO of the Isle of Wight NHS Trust and Nicola Longson, Head of Transformation in on Monday 6 February at 6.00p.m. at the Innovation Centre, St Cross Business Park, Newport. Karen will be presenting the latest proposals for STP’s. (Sustainable Transition Plans, renamed by Keep the NHS Public as “Slash, Trash and Privatise” plans. As the Initial Isle of Wight plans have been rejected there will be new Hampshire plans given.
Were people treated with contempt over the STP plans?
The government has continued to pursue its project which, put simply, is that of making the health service a reservoir of business projects for the private sector.
The first attempt was rejected by the Independent administration but now we have mark 2.
Looking at the pre-presentation it is couched in technical language that appears to put the health of patients in the first place, but have they?
At least now we know more and hopefully the presentation will tell us more because previously it was like trying to find out the content of the STPs, which has been like extracting teeth.
Initially, the draft STPs were discouraged from being published, Freedom of Information requests were met with blank replies, and enquirers were told that no minutes of the relevant board meetings existed.
Given that they are supposed to be so crucial to the people’s health, it is outrageous that the people and health professionals and campaigners have been kept in the dark, have not been party to what is being prepared, and have no input and control over what is being proposed or decided.
People were sidelined as to what has been already decided. In summing up it may mean that that what is required is a complete reversal in the direction that Westminster is taking the NHS.
What is being said in some quarters is that it is necessary to be pragmatic about the proposed STPs, get involved in them, or that there is just the lack of investment in them. But where is the voice of progress? What do we have to say about the direction of the NHS?
This purchaser/provider split, this “internal market” in the health service, has grown to gargantuan proportions.
All governments have been responsible but it was consolidated under Blair. His government introduced PFI, the Private Finance Initiative, to put hospital trusts massively in debt.
Hospital trusts themselves have taken on the mantle of businesses, particularly the Foundation Trusts to which all hospitals are supposed to aspire.
The fact is, however, that the “market” is rigged. “Payment by results” does not result in providing hospital trusts with the funding required to meet the needs of society for health care. What one notices is the increasing absence of any public authority and real planning for a comprehensive and sustainable health service now replaced by competing “public” and ever more private corporations for “health contracts”.
The STP regional plans, known as “footprints”, have to come up with plans to make the provision of health care “sustainable”, to “transform” the provision of health care to make it “financially viable” in the face of a projected cut to the annual budget of the NHS of £22-30 billion a year by 2020/21. What we have seen as these plans are revealed is the obfuscating jargon and statistics.