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Author Topic: 'Planned 49% limit' for NHS private patients in England  (Read 1737 times)


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'Planned 49% limit' for NHS private patients in England
« on: December 27, 2011, 06:22:41 pm »

Health editor, BBC News website

By Helen Briggs
Health editor, BBC News website

 A recent revision to the ongoing health bill will allow foundation hospitals to raise 49% of funds through non-NHS work if the bill gets through Parliament.

Most foundation trusts are now limited to a private income of about 2%.

The Health Secretary says the move will benefit NHS patients but Labour claimed it could lead to longer waiting lists.

The amendment to a clause of the Health and Social Care Bill was made shortly before Christmas by Health Minister Earl Howe.

Commenting on the move, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said lifting the private income cap for foundation hospitals would directly benefit NHS patients.

Continue reading the main story
Health and Social Care Bill
Introduced into Parliament on 19 January 2011
Main theme is to change commissioning of NHS services, giving GPs more control of the NHS budget
Concerns led to a Government 'listening exercise' in the summer
The bill then progressed through the House of Commons
Further examination of the bill is to take place in the House of Lords in 2012
"If these hospitals earn additional income from private work that means there will be more money available to invest in NHS services," he said in a statement.

"Furthermore services for NHS patients will be safeguarded because foundation hospitals' core legal duty will be to care for them."

But Labour's shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham claimed the move could mean longer waits for NHS patients.

He said: "This surprise move, sneaked out just before Christmas, is the clearest sign yet of David Cameron's determination to turn our precious NHS into a US-style commercial system, where hospitals are more interested in profits than people.

"With NHS hospitals able to devote half of their beds to private patients, people will begin to see how our hospitals will never be the same again if Cameron's Health Bill gets through Parliament."

Critical services
A cap on the amount of income hospitals can raise from private patients was put in place by Labour in 2003, amid political controversy over the setting up of foundation hospitals, which have more freedom to decide how their services are run. All NHS hospitals are set to become foundation hospitals by 2014.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote
...the Government has consistently assured us that the NHS is safe in their hands, but if allowed to go ahead, the removal of the cap could lead to the fundamental erosion of key NHS principles”
End Quote
Dr Peter Carter
 The cap has prevented hospitals from expanding their private work beyond the proportion earned in 2002. It varies from hospital to hospital, but is limited to about 2% in most hospitals.

In a small number of specialist hospitals, such as the Royal Marsden, the limit is set much higher, at around 30%. Health secretary Andrew Lansley has long said he will abolish the cap but it has been unclear how much private work would be allowed.

Proponents of the move have pointed out that the Royal Marsden is rated one of the best NHS providers while taking up to around a third of its income from private activity.

But critics are concerned that NHS patients would get a poor deal under the proposals, as foundation trusts with large financial deficits seek to take on more private work.

Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), said it was "a seriously worrying development".

"At a time when the health service has to make significant efficiency savings, it is only natural, that given the option, providers will look to maximise their income through private patients," he said.

"This will undoubtedly lead to a situation whereby those who can afford to pay will get faster access to better treatment, with increased waiting times and a decrease in quality for NHS patients."

He said existing NHS providers could be left to deliver critical services, which are the most expensive and challenging to run.

He added: "Really, it doesn't get much more serious than this; the Government has consistently assured us that the NHS is safe in their hands, but if allowed to go ahead, the removal of the cap could lead to the fundamental erosion of key NHS principles.

"The very heart of these principles being that access to care should be on the basis of clinical need, regardless of ability to pay."

Dual role
But the chief executive of the health thinktank, the King's Fund, Chris Ham said hospitals had generated funds from private patients for many years, and it was possible to provide high quality care to both NHS and private patients in the same hospital.

"The cap is only a significant consideration for a minority of hospitals," he said.

"These hospitals should report annually on how they are ensuring NHS patients do not lose out if the cap is either removed or at a relatively high proportion of income."


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Re: 'Planned 49% limit' for NHS private patients in England
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2011, 06:37:20 pm »

Taking further this systematic wrecking of public sector hospitals by starving them of funding forcing the closure of thousands of hospital beds and rewarding them for treating private patients.  A monopoly dictate system that is almost completely out of touch with the needs of human beings in society and is rapidly heading towards its own destruction wants to destroy everything in the name of 18th century economics and politics.  Fortunately serfs no longer exists and they are only given time of day by the massive campaign of misinformation by the sleeping gian that is the working class and peoples movement. Things are astir and the workers oppositon will become centre stage.

A modern health care system that meets the needs of all as of right is the order of the day in every country of the world.  If they think they can go against the wheel of history it will cut off their heads like it did Hilter's crew because the people will not accept the wrecking of all that they and the predecessors have fought for.  There is an alternative to this nation wrecking project it is stop paying the rich and invest in the public sector and manufacturing to meet the needs of all in society and end their warmongering crimes against the people of other countries.  A pro-social and anti-war government is the demand of the day.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2011, 06:40:30 pm by roger »