Sneaky way to privatise

Chancellor George Osbourne.
Chancellor George Osbourne.

Greater Manchester to control £6bn NHS budget – Greater Manchester is to become the first English region to get full control of its health spending, as part of an extension of devolved powers.

Chancellor George Osborne said the £6bn health and social care budget would be taken over by the region’s councils and health groups.

Mr Osborne said it was a “really exciting development”. A Labour spokesman said NHS workers would “want to be persuaded of the case for a new layer of management”.

The plan will come into force from April 2016.

Mr Osborne added: “This is what the NHS wants to see as part of its own future. And it’s also about giving people in Manchester greater control over their own affairs in that city, which is central to our vision of the ‘northern powerhouse’, so it’s a very exciting development.”

The plan would see local leaders, and ultimately Greater Manchester’s new directly elected mayor, control how budgets are allocated.

The government hopes integrating health and social care services will ease pressure on hospitals and help to improve home care services for patients who need it.

A shadow Greater Manchester Health and Wellbeing board will be appointed, which will work closely with existing clinical commissioning groups of GPs.

The board is expected to run from April, before control of the budget is handed over a year later.

Manchester City Council confirmed 10 local authorities, 12 clinical commissioning groups, 14 NHS partners, NHS England and the government are in discussions on a “groundbreaking agreement for health and social care”.

What will happen if Greater Manchester over-spends? And if this ‘Grandiose Plan for the NHS’ is extended to other parts of the UK, who will provide health care, should Greater Manchester, other Health Trusts run out of money?

Therefore it begs the question, does it not, that I firmly believe is this – privatisation of the NHS by the back door by the Tory Party, and the only people to benefit will be NHS consultants, GPs and medical manufacturers; and also not forgetting MPs, who will, no doubt, have their snouts in the trough with ‘interested parties’.

Therefore, may I respectfully suggest that if David Cameron MP is elected Prime Minister in May will he please confirm his Electoral Pledge of many years ago – ‘that the NHS is totally safe in Tory hands’.

But will it be a case of Tory Brown Envelopes Rule – ad infinitum.

It would appear that absolutely nothing has changed since May 1997.

May I respectfully remind the occupants in Downing Street, and elsewhere in Whitehall, that if the people in Britain no longer have the NHS then I cannot help but feel that people will demonstrate and it will make the Poll Tax Riots of March 1990 seem like a walk in the park.

So think seriously David Cameron MP and George Osborne MP in what you are about to embark on as we ‘grassroots’ are a very tolerant race providing we are not treated with contempt by those in power.

However the ‘voice is deafening’ from the Labour Party and other parties at this time.

On a final point, if I may, as the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP is Secretary of State for Health do you not think he should have stood up in the House of Commons this week, or earlier, and made this statement, and not the Chancellor of the Exchequer, to the media?

Norman Tomlinson

Elterwater Place

Lancaster.