NHS sell-off strategy: Slog prediction confirmed as South London Healthcare goes into administration.

On 27th June 2012, the Press Association wrote:

‘South London Healthcare NHS Trust will be the first in the country to be put under the control of a special administrator tasked with putting it on a viable footing. A further 20 trusts are facing serious financial difficulties which could ultimately see them in the same situation….Mr Lansley sent a letter as the first step in the legal process towards installing a special administrator using the powers. The administrator will take over the board and recommend measures to the Health Secretary to put the trust’s finances on a sustainable basis.’

Here in Slogger’s Roost, none of this came as a surprise: Mr Lansley may wish to suggest that he was surprised, but that’s the last thing he is.

On September 10th 2011, The Slog wrote:

‘The NHS proposals offered by Andrew Lansley were a dog’s dinner in terms of the service’s real needs because Andrew Lansley had been heavily lobbied by pharmcos, GP associations, and private medical insurance companies.’

On May 19th 2012, The Slog wrote:

‘Since May 2010, the 23 private companies working with the NHS have made £1.4 billion in profit. Next year they will make even more, because the monies that should’ve gone into hospital updates and hardware budgets have been diverted towards primary care practitioners preparing to work with and/or hand over to big suppliers in the private sector. It’s perfectly obvious that, starved of funds, within the next eighteen months many local hospital Trusts will either go bust, or require increased private sector services which in turn point to the need for some form of private sector merger, takeover or joint venture.’

On June 16th 2012, The Slog wrote :

‘Two years into his mealy-mouthed plan to simply suck all the NHS’s hospital money out and then sell that infrastructure off, Andrew Lansley is on the verge of letting every Hank, Richard and Henri bid to take over larger group-practice primary care. Give it another year, and almost every Foundation Trust hospital-service provider will be in financial trouble…at which point the private sector will get what it wants – the massive taxpayer investment in hitech equipment and buildings – in a fire sale.’

So if The Slog saw through the plan, it seems almost surreally unlikely that Lansley didn’t see his scam coming to fruition.

There is in fact a wider issue to be debated here…one that’s primarily about the viability or otherwise of Friedmanite bollocks in a world whose growth is going backwards.

On May 2nd 2012, The Slog wrote:

‘How on earth does the Establishment think those on lower incomes are going to survive? Who does it think, among the better-off Silvers, is going to do the consuming? And WTF is Andrew Lansley on if he thinks that the result of Health privatisation is going to be anything other than a return to the 1920s?

The people at The Top are protected from this crap, but most people aren’t. This has nothing to do with Leftwingism, and everything to do with the current economic model not providing (a) enough employment and (b) the wealth required to run a reformed public health service. Attacking sick, old and debt-free consumers with pro-bank policies, frozen pensions, and increased taxes is just another form of Troikaism – viz, an excuse for ignoring the fact that the model is broken.’

Twas ever thus. But there is no reason why we have to put up with it now. We get the governance we deserve. If we plonk down onto the sofa and watch sanitised MSM news without doing anything, then we have only ourselves to blame.

43 thoughts on “NHS sell-off strategy: Slog prediction confirmed as South London Healthcare goes into administration.

  1. JW
    The problem is that no truly sane person would ever
    want to be in modern politics.
    Which is why we get all these Broadmoor out-patients
    running things everywhere.
    Either we dispose of all of them or they will surely dispose of


  2. Can i hazard a guess that the majority of the Trusts in financial difficulty with unsustainable PFI contracts are in Labour heartlands?

    Didn’t the same location principle apply to the PFI financed School Building Programme?


  3. PFI is a horrendous nightmare this country will be lumbered with for decades. The servicing of PFI payments is likely to cost this country between 1.2 and 1.7 trillion pounds. At the moment all eyes are focussed on the NHS and rightly so, but the same issues exist in education, transport and defence to name three. I was told the other day that the new hospital in Tunbridge Wells cost approx £254 milliion to build and get running. The hospital administration needs to make 30 annual payments of £17 million to fulfill the PFI agreement. I’m not sure any of the parties can deal with the huge mess.


  4. Margaret Hodge MP speaking on the radio today admitted that the NHS budget needed to grow by 4% each year just to stand still.

    At that rate it would consume the entire economy before any of our silver haired lifetimes are over. I don’t know if what this latest fool proposes will have any positive effects, but if the previous fools track records are anything to go by, I won’t be holding my breath in anticipation.

    Is the implosion of the South London trust necessary to highlight the road to perdition we’re all travelling?

    Will it become the sacrificial lamb that strikes such a starkly unclouded vision in the minds of the population that a fearsome understanding of how and why smaller coubtries are currently being coerced becomes clear?

    Or will we witness another stream of unthinking unseeing spokespersons explaining why their particular role is more deserving than anothers in this land of bonus drenched bone pickers asking for one more five hundred quid to do what they’re paid for anyway.

    How is something supposed to look when its widely discussed bankruptcy forces it into its final throes as it gasps on life support?


  5. I just found an old Staffordshire Newsletter, from August 21 2008, HOSPITAL CHIEFS PAY DOUBLES, by Jon Peck, “Board members at belinguered Stafford Hospital have had their pay doubled, the Newsletter can reveal. Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trusts governors nominations and renuneration committee voted in favour of the huge pay hike at a behind closed doors meeting last week. Under the new pay svheme Trust chairwoman Toni Brisbys salary will shoot from £20,144 to £40,000 for three and a bhalf days work a week. And Mrs Brisby will pocket an extra £5000 from February 2009 according to a hospital statement. Non executive directors Peter Bell, David Denny, Michael Wall and Roger Carder, who work two and a half days per month will also get a pay rise from £5875 to £12000 while the deputy chairman Gerald Hindley will recieve £15000. News of the pay hike sparked outrage when details first appeared in February, but the increases were not confirmed until last Tuesdays meeting. This week Chris Woodward, chairman of the committee which approved the pay rises defended the decision. He said “The chair and non executive directors salaries are independantly reviewed by external healthcare experts and pubicly elected governors. They are set in accordance with an independant survey and are in keeping with other similar size NHS Foundation Trusts.


  6. “We get the governance we deserve.”
    Sure do – but what to do about it?
    There is nothing (or no-one) on the horizon but dross…

    Think about it – the current crop of politicos are corrupted by the power they wield. There is not one amongst them with the qualities required – and for this I blame the media-spin bollocks of the last 10 years.

    I am not usually so defeatist, but there really is nothing and nobody out there to sort this mess out.


  7. Two questions for anyone who cares to answer them:

    1. Even if JW’s analysis / prediction has some reasonable basis, what’s the alternative? Carry on with the current dreadful system, about which the same JW wrote only a few weeks ago based on his personal experiences (and with which I don’t disagree, as I’ve just had something similar with a relative)?

    2. Does putting the Trust into ‘administration’ put the PFI creditors into the same position as all the other creditors? Is this a default which would allow the ‘administrator’ to renegotiate the terms of the finance, or are the PFI providers ‘preferred creditors’?


  8. Toni Brisby resigned in 2009. It seems to me that the NHS Foundation Trust scheme was all about deliberatly smashing up the NHS, blaming it all on highly paid scapegoats. Thats what I think has happened. If thats true then the police should look into this, because there is a word for this sort of deliberate sneaky smash up of Britain, and that word is sedition, and it is a criminal offence.


  9. The old ‘leapfrog’ argument. We used to get this at school governing body meetings: our head-teacher wants a pay rise because all the other head-teachers in surrounding schools were (it was claimed) on higher bands. And every time a new deputy or assistant head was appointed, the pay grade was raised ‘in order to attract the best candidates’, but which eventiually and inevitably resulted in another pitch for a pay rise from the head in order to maintain ‘differentials’.

    Try arguing against this sort of blackmail if you’re an unpaid, amateur, part-time governor. It’s almost impossible. The unions wrecked the country in the 1970s by playing these games. I long suspected that after Thatcher booted them out of industry they simply moved en masse into the public sector – local authorities, schools and health service.


  10. “I am not usually so defeatist, but there really is nothing and nobody out there to sort this mess out.”

    Well we have to at least try! Try not to give up, please. xx


  11. WOW! I never thought of that, thanks! It IS the same, perhaps some of them that were responsible then are the same ones responsible now, though they would be getting on.


  12. “2. Does putting the Trust into ‘administration’ put the PFI creditors into the same position as all the other creditors? Is this a default which would allow the ‘administrator’ to renegotiate the terms of the finance, or are the PFI providers ‘preferred creditors’?”

    One hopes that it places the PFI creditors behind other NHS suppliers (FA rules manage to place the IR at the back of the queue). But we are dealing with Lansley and his useless crew – have they thought it through? Do they think?


  13. South London Healthcare amalgamated the Princess Royal University Hospital in Orpington, Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup, and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich in 2009.

    Two Conservative MPs and one Labour MP cover Orpington, Sidcup and Woolwich
    Bang goes another theory


  14. The problem is the NHS at it is currently structured just does not work (and will never be big enough or funded enough to meet the increasing demands of the population).

    People scream ‘I have paid all my life’ however whatever has been paid it is simply not enough to meet the expectations of the population so something needs to give. PFI was used by the Government (for other public spending as well) as a way of giving the people what they wanted but hiding the true cost as the bill lands on the next generation, classic ‘kicking the can’ we here about in the news every week.

    Saying that the problem has been exacerbated by the contracts being horrendously one-sided so they could be better structured to give a fairer split of risk between the public and private sector.


  15. Will someone please tell me why South London Healthcare should not be subject to the normal discipline of keeping expenditure beneath income.


  16. The PFI creditors are absolutely preferred creditors. They are city of London financiers and overseas hedge funds.. The reason money flooded in for PFI during the Blair years was because the GUARANTEED returns on investment was so good. The agreements and contracts are Cast Iron.


  17. We are approaching an endgame where there are few options and none of them easy or painless (nothing worth doing ever was); doing nothing and expecting things to right themselves will only lead to more of the same. Some form of organised protest has to come but will only happen when sufficient numbers decide that they can no longer ignore the drift towards totalitarianism and, in reality, enslavement. We should not forget that they are few and we are many; we must put our foot down with a firm hand… and, in the meantime, take every opportunity to argue the toss and put a spanner in the works.


  18. @Wiliiam
    “Will someone please tell me why South London Healthcare should not be subject to the normal discipline of keeping expenditure beneath income.”

    I assume you have a plan for rectifying the imbalance William. Will it be to reduce the Building costs? Equipment costs? Drug costs? Labour costs?

    Or reduce quality, quantity of treatment to meet the patient costs, thereby killing ’em off quicker and saving?

    Or will it be really radical and insist that before using it the patient must have paid into to it at some time in the previous years? 5, 10, 15 years or longer?

    Or should we keep providing unlimited treatment for absolutely everyone who turns up from whereever as we do at present?

    I don’t know the answer you understand, just asking.


  19. Don’t forget that the nasty old word ‘immigration’ cannot be left out of the equation. This country’s system of healthcare is just not designed to cope with the huge increase in population there has been in the last 40yrs. What with old diseases coming back, T.B. etc., a huge increase in diabetes because people from the Indian Subcontinent are more prone to develop it, health tourism, people coming here to have babies; abortions, no health checks on arrival. It makes one wonder, with all that, plus the huge increase in drink-related accidents clogging up the A&E, & all the advances in treatments & operations, that they have been able to finance it for as long as they have.


  20. @Jwoo.’Unlimited treatment for absolutely everyone who turns up from whereever’ is clearly an unaffordable model.Make something free in monetary terms and the demand is limitless.As HB remarked,I might be ‘old fashioned’in balancing the books,but I gladly accepted a free cosmetic op 5 years ago,,paid for by all my fellow Sloggers,as I continued to enjoy the fruits of my money making skills.The NHS is an out of date system.


  21. @William
    “Make something free in monetary terms and the demand is limitless.”

    Of course, but the problem for the individual Health Authorities is that it isn’t within their remit, or control to decide who they treat. So it isn’t so much about the NHS being a broken model or an outdated one, rather it is about all the other govermental decisions which have forced the current absurdity on the NHS.

    All this current shouting by TPTB about how the NHS is unaffordable and how all us idiots who paid into it for decades have been deluding ourselves, is not honest.

    Successive governments have made it impossible for the NHS to be self funding and the current propaganda is about making us, the payers and would be users, those at fault. We are not. They are.

    Had previous governments invested in drugs companies alone, significant savings and return on their (our) investments would be showing.

    Had previous governments understood even a fraction of the effects of their numerous policies re the Commonwealth and EU and so on, it might have been possible to properly cost the future requirements of the NHS.

    Had previous governments invested capital in pension schemes rather than paying out today what they collect tomorrow, things wouldn’t be the issue today that they are.

    That is the fault of successive governments not mine, I can’t even get my MP’s attention, let alone get him to agree with me.

    Successive governments haven’t done anything that they should have done and they are supposed to be and claim to be the clever one’s.

    Give me a break.


  22. The system which is bust, or ‘out of date,’ is the system which seeks to buy what it otherwise could not afford, on credit/debt.


  23. I hate doing this,but here goes.Our NHS was bankrupted during the mid-80s when American Aids patient flooded across the Atlantic and decided to die in our hospitals,it was estimated at the time each patient cost the NHS £500,000.
    At the same time,lectures about Aids invariably carried an American warble there could be no dessenting.Now the result is an accelerated bust.
    Contracts can be torn up,particularly if the terms are “odious”.


  24. The NHS’s problems are by and large structural. It used to be said that after the Chinese Red Army, the NHS was the biggist state employer in the world. I doubt that has changed. Currently the biggest drains on funds are, PFI costs, an astronomical wages and salary bill that gone into orbit in recent years and the cost of several IT programmes that have turned into debacles. Immigration and medication costs are there but they are not the primary torpedoes jeopodising the NHS. My proposal would be sack Andrew Landsley and bring Gerry Robinson with a broad remit. No ones political career could survive what needs to be done. Hence appointing a non political with a proven track record


  25. John’s post prompted me to google a short history of the NHS.

    I found this interesting piece that includes events outside of the behemoth and that directly affected it. I was struck by the familiarity of it all, remembering vividly the key points along the way and the arguments that raged against it at the time.

    I like to say it’s funny how it all turns out in the end – but it isn’t.



  26. Exactly. Being a politician should be a slightly onerous duty along the lines of tennis club treasurer.

    The fact is though that the psychopathic personality type is attracted to power, whereas the rest of us are in general just after a quiet life and are happy to let them get on with it – until it impinges upon us at times such as this.

    On that basis, I don’t see much of a solution, apart from education. But when you’re dealing with a multi-generational problem, people tend to forget…


  27. @Jwoo.The entire welfare budget is borrowed money The days of ‘free’health and education are numbered.Is that a break?


  28. Weeks and months till it happens.
    I thought TPTB could hold this together another year
    or 18 months.I no longer think it.
    2012 is the year ,a perfect hurricane forming from
    interconnected storms.
    I am buying more gold this week ,I suggest everyone else
    does if they can.


  29. Accountants are employed to bend and twist the rules to disguise the realities of the NHS’s finances. There are few limits to this kind of deceitful game, usually designed to ensure someone’s promotion prospects or bonus targets.


  30. ….exacerbated by the contracts being horrendously one-sided.
    Why is every government contract heavily weighted in favour of the contractor? There are more lawyers in government than you can shake a shitty stick at, each ministry has commercial and contracts professionals. How can we get into the situation that it is cheaper to build 2 aircraft carriers than to cancell one? Why does every government construction contract blow the budget and schedule?
    Are they all incompetent? Assuming there is a reasonable level of experience and professional competency, I can only conclude that apathy or corruption is the culprit.
    And don’t get me started on procurement and due diligence!


  31. The PFI contracts let by the Blair/Brown government are the biggest theft from the taxpayer in recent times or probably ever…….The sheer extent of the unaffordability and wastefulness of the whole scheme just defies belief……I dont know how Millerband dares to stand there and support that party
    They happened to make the right decision not to accept the Euro currency in ignorance of the true liability, the enormity of which is only just now becoming apparent. But the PFI fiasco, the liability for which was always in black and white, executed by a socialist govenment, at best is theft from the taxpayer……negligent spending would be a better description.
    If this is democracy, its time to try an alternative


  32. PFI may prove to be the final nail in the coffin of the NHS. When it goes, we will have a better and sustainable system for the future. What it will be like we do not yet know, but other coutries run sensible systems (Ireland and Australia for two) and we can learn from them.
    The end of the NHS may be the second of Gordon Brown’s great achievements.
    His first was keeping out of the Euro. TB wanted to join so due to the petty rivalry between these two political midgets, UK stayed out.
    History may show that the end of the NHS was caused by Brown’s egomania – he thought he was cleverer than the financiers. Big mistake.


  33. If you are referring to moderation for putting more than one web link in a comment then, it happens automatically it seems, other than that, I don’t know.


  34. Hmmmmmm………..I’d have sworn I’ve posted multiple links in a single comment before but I cannot remember seeing anything about comments being moderated.


  35. Pingback: ANALYSIS: New Treasury figures betray the Lansley hospital starvation strategy | A diary of deception and distortion

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