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Author Topic: Darzi Procurement of GP Practices oand polyclinic in South Tyneside  (Read 1736 times)


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Almost as his first measure, as leader of the New Labour
government, Gordon Brown appointed Darzi to roll out his
procurement strategy for the “independent” sector in Primary
Care. That strategy has now come to South Tyneside as
well as all other areas of the North East, England and Wales.
The Primary Care Trusts south of Tyne and Wear are presently
inviting bids for GP practices and GP led Health Centres. South
Tyneside has been designated an “underdoctored” area which
gets £2.750m funding and the PCT is inviting bids to sign
contracts for 2 “new” GP practices and one GP led Health
Centre. NHS and "independent" providers are being invited to

The contracts being tendered for are GP practices in South
Shields (Flagg Court) and Hebburn. Also a GP led Health Centre
at Cleadon, which will be a walk in and walk out facility. The
national guidelines on this Darzi plan say “that it must be
additional capacity – This means additional GPs, nurses and
support staff”. But staff at Riverside GP practice presently
based at Flagg Court, an existing PCT directly managed
practice for 2,600 patients have already been told that they
could be transferred into the independent sector as part of a
new 6,000 patient practice. So, immediately existing practice
staff are being made available to the future contractor contrary
to these guidelines. Having already advertised for expressions
of interest for these practices, by May 16th, the PCT
commissioners have now launched a three month consultation.

To simplify the terms of Darzi the consultation finishing on
August 5 is limited to:

1- Are these the right areas?
2- What services should be provided above core GP
3- What should be the selection criteria for the bidders?

This is supposed to be public consultation for
staff and patients alike. After all, the proposals
have been made under the heading of a
“patient led” NHS. But as patients and staff I
suspect most of us would like to object to our
health service being carved up and sold off in
this way and that the main agenda here is to
give the national private health care
companies a chance to bid for NHS services
and to make profits from taxpayers money.
Money which is ring fenced to them unlike the
cash starved hard pressed services we

Of course the big health companies may be
able to undercut NHS providers and GPs in
the short term. They get paid more f or
procedures and they may want to gather
experience with these 5 year contracts and even
take a “loss” so they get the whole prize -
privatisation of the NHS.

So, lets be clear what is at stake is the future of
a publicly funded universal health care system.
All private systems once they get a hold make
people pay for health care and never provide
for the poor other than by the charity hospitals
and clinics. We have heard of this in South
Tyneside before the NHS was founded when
some rich familes donated small hospitals, and
the workers paid subscriptions. Turning health
care into a commodity to be commissioned and
sold off in a health market is taking society

In the modern world health care is a right and
responsibility of the society as a whole to
provide to meet the needs of all. Private health
care belongs with the times of Dickens and not
from the 20th century onwards let alone in the
new millennium. Fight these plans hatched in
Wesminster by the government Darzi plan and
fight to safeguard the future of the NHS. It is
our workplaces, our clinics, our hospitals and
our NHS!
« Last Edit: July 11, 2008, 06:37:14 am by roger »