Bed shortage forces NHS to look to private sector

In the midst of summer hospital trusts were making plans for how they are going to cope with this winter. A regular feature of these plans is buying bed capacity in the private sector – once purchased on an ad-hoc basis, it now seems that such private sector involvement is becoming more permanent. This week,

Health secretary’s GP claim is misleading, but he can’t hide the crisis

At the end of August health secretary Hancock loudly proclaimed a rise in the number of GPs, but this is contrary to official figures which chart a clear decline in the number of family doctors over the last year. “’There’s hundreds more GPs… we’re moving in the right direction”, said Hancock in a video posted

Private hospital chiefs stung by threat to their NHS income

The Labour Party’s promise to “end and reverse privatisation in the NHS in the next Parliament” has triggered a tetchy response from the private hospital chains, which have been doing good business and filling their otherwise empty beds with NHS-funded patients. The Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN) claimed (perhaps having just listened to Boris Johnson’s

False NHS promises in Conservative’s manifesto? – comment

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is at least consistent in one respect: his major statements begin to be discredited within minutes – as soon as anyone can check the details. Just recently we have had false and discredited claims on: £1.8 billion of “new money” for capital investment, most of which was not new. Claims to

The three false claims that dominate election

One: Matt Hancock, Michael Gove and others have been travelling the country repeating the claim that the Johnson government has launched “the largest hospital building plan in a generation, with 40 new hospitals across the country.” In fact all the Johnson government has done is provide £2.7 billion to fund just SIX new or refurbished

Truth behind Johnson’s “40 new hospitals” claim

It has been hard to keep up with and evaluate the succession of announcements of new money for refurbishment and building projects that have emerged since the beginning of August. The two major announcements were of £1.8 billion in capital to “upgrade outdated facilities and equipment” in early August, and the commitment at the end

Checking up on Johnson’s fake forty new hospitals

The breathless press releases and media statements at the end of September spelled out a clear message, which some Tory candidates are now reiterating in the election campaign: “Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: ‘We’re providing additional funding for 40 new hospitals to be built over the next decade.’ “Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: ‘I love

Ministers unveil new plans to deter health workers from coming to Britain

The Daily Mail could barely conceal its joy as Tory ministers spelled out new ways in which a re-elected Johnson government would “get tough on post Brexit migrants” – and jack up the “Immigration Health Surcharge” (HIS) from £400 to at least £625 per person. This is just one of a “battery of measures” to

American firms scooping up mental health contracts

The British market for private mental health hospitals grew by 4.1 per cent to £1.8 billion in 2018, and could grow to £2.3 billion by 2023, according to the latest report on the sector from private sector analysts LaingBuisson: – but the main customer in the market is the NHS, accounting for 90 per cent

Public health cuts expose hollow claims of “one nation” approach

Boris Johnson opened his election campaign with a fresh claim to be a “one nation” Conservative – after expelling two dozen actual one nation Tories who refused to vote for his ‘deal’. The term “one nation” was originally coined by Tory Benjamin Disraeli back in the 1830s in reference to the need to reach out

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