Shocking news has emerged that the government are sending "hit squads" of accountants & lawyers into 7 NHS Trusts to oversee their financial problems, amid fears that up to 60 Hospitals could be sold off or closed due to financial woes. This could potentially lead to the bankruptcy of several NHS Trusts and could affect up to 60 hospitals. The government are attempting to spin the news by leaking it to the Telegraph in advance so that the Tory stalwarts can put the best possible spin on it. The accountancy teams will re-examine the spending of each Trust and find ways that savings can be made. The Tories will attempt to blame this on PFI contracts signed by Labour, and there is no doubt that these awful contracts certainly played a part. But it would be wholly wrong to pretend that these are the only financial reasons for the demise of these 7 Trusts.
1. The NHS is currently facing £20,000,000,000 of spending cuts brought in by this Tory government despite their claims they would ring fence the NHS.
2. Despite the sacking of 28,610 NHS Staff, the government are spending hundreds of millions of pounds on temporary doctors and nurses including those from the number one Tory Donor Lord Ashcroft's temporary agency staff. Agency spend under the Tories has grown by 50% across 32 NHS Trusts.
3. The government are wasting millions of pounds in consultancy fees to McKinsey and others whose advice they seek on the NHS carve up. In just one carve up of South London NHS, McKinsey are being handed £2m.
4. The government have so far put nearly £5bn of NHS services up for sale that will allow private companies to make profits on. They are in the process of planning the sell off of a further £2.5bn. The total figure could reach nearly£30bn. Ultimately, these profits will have to be paid by the UK taxpayer since 'officially' services will remain free at the point of use. In short, private healthcare profit will be paid for my the UK Taxpayer.
5. The government have spent £3.5bn on restructuring the NHS. This includes the abolishing of Primary Care Trusts and the establishment of Clinical Commissioning Groups. This is needless expenditure at a time when the NHS is facing unprecedented funding pressures.
6. The government spending on the NHS is basically standing still. At a time when inflation in the NHS means that nearly £8bn of additional spend is required each year to keep up with prices and new medicines, it in effect means that the NHS is undergoing £8bn of additional cuts on top of the so-called £20bn of "efficiency savings".
7. The Tories have also signed a record number of PFI contracts in their first year. These will ultimately cost the taxpayer £33bn. The Tories have some cheek to preach on PFI.
Thus, the £40-50bn damage being caused by the Tories to the NHS is also very damaging to the financial health of the NHS Trusts that are now being placed under the financial and legal control of government squads of lawyers and accountants. Labour should apologise for dodgy PFI contracts, of that there is no doubt, but do not let the Tories pretend that that is the only reason NHS Trusts are in financial difficulty.
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