US-EU trade deal may make Tory sell-off irreversible

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The best investment that the government could now make in the NHS is the immediate scrapping of the Health and Social Care Act which has already squandered £4 billion in a pointless reorganisation.

Simon Stevens, the new chief executive of NHS England, makes little mention of the plummeting morale of the 1.3 million workforce which is becoming a worrying pattern for this government with its continued failure to invest in skills, retention and development.

In the last four years the NHS has been battered by the funding crisis, resulting in £20 billion being sucked out of the service during this parliament.

The picture remains bleak.

It is clear that the plan will not plug the predicted £30 billion financial black hole by 2020/21.

This will be impossible to deliver in five years – if you are talking about a real improvement in health prevention, retraining and realigning the roles of NHS staff, together with integration of health and social care.

The NHS has been hit by the helter-skelter dash to privatise services with 56 per cent of new contracts going to private healthcare companies in the last year.

There is also the financial albatross of the private finance initiatives (PFI).

One positive from this plan is that it will focus the minds of politicians of all parties for the need to provide a suitable financial framework to underpin the NHS.

Despite the warm words of some, Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership means the irreversible privatisation of the NHS.

Stevens needs to disclose the legal advice the NHS and Department of Health has received on the potential impact of TTIP, the controversial US-EU trade deal, which could make the Tory sell-off of our local services irreversible.

Ged Dempsey

Denman Road, Wath