Well being campaigners will protest towards the takeover of dozens of London GP practices by a non-public well being firm.
Hammersmith and Fulham Save Our NHS (HAFSON) will stage the protests on Thursday, April 22, at two native surgical procedures which have modified arms – the Cassidy Centre in Fulham and the Canberra Outdated Oak Surgical procedure in White Metropolis.
They’re a part of a community of GP surgical procedures throughout London which can be managed by AT Medics, which was arrange by NHS GPs in 2003.
However AT Medics was acquired in late 2020 by Operose Well being, the UK subsidiary of publicly listed medical health insurance big Centene Company, whose income within the US final yr was $111 billion.
Labour politicians and well being campaigners all through London have raised fears that giving NHS contracts to a multinational firm will change the way in which front-line companies are delivered.
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After the protests exterior the centres, a bigger demonstration is deliberate by the Unite commerce union on Thursday at Operose’s headquarters in New Cavendish Road, Marylebone.
Unite has referred to as the state of affairs “privatisation of the NHS by stealth”.
Organiser and physician Jackie Applebee mentioned: “There’s a world of distinction between a multinational company that operates to make a revenue, usually by reducing workers and companies, in order that it will possibly pay dividends to shareholders, and native GPs who’re very a lot a part of the NHS ‘household’ and supply companies from a price range fastened by the Treasury.”
An Operose spokesperson mentioned: “Operose Well being shares NHS values, gives NHS companies and cares for NHS sufferers. Like different NHS suppliers, our care is free on the level of supply, regulated and inspected by the Care High quality Fee.”
The takeover of 9 AT Medics practices in north west London boroughs was secretively authorized by the North West London NHS Medical Commissioning Group (CCG), which mentioned it had “no authorized foundation” for stopping it.
There have additionally been issues that affected person information may very well be shared with Centene.
The CCG has since mentioned that “due diligence” checks had been carried out and that there isn’t any authorized chance that Operose may share affected person information – even anonymised information – with Centene.
These points had been mentioned publicly for the primary time by native NHS chiefs throughout a CCG governors assembly on April 15.
Jo Ohlson, the CCG’s accountable officer, mentioned the takeover didn’t require a public session as a result of “it was not a change in service, there was no requirement to seek the advice of”.
Responding to public questions, she mentioned: “We made it completely clear that they may not share information exterior of the UK. They couldn’t share patient-identifiable information anyway, however even non-patient-identifiable information about inhabitants well being couldn’t go exterior the UK holding firm…
“There have been sure issues we required after we sought assurances – there can be no change in personnel in any of the practices delivering the companies.”
HAFSON member Jim Grealy, from Fulham, requested: “As it is a nationwide concern… so we wish to know on an ongoing foundation that Centene, Operose… that are revenue making organisations that make revenue on low value, that experiences will come again to us about any deviations from the conventional service.”
Ms Ohlson replied: “Sure we are going to try this however I might additionally like us to report extra broadly on main care as nicely.”
HAFSON’s protests will occur on the Canberra Outdated Oak Surgical procedure between 11am to 11.30am on April 22. They are going to then meet on the Cassidy Medical Centre between 2pm and a pair of.30pm.
The Unite protest exterior Operose’s places of work in New Cavendish Road will then happen between 3pm and 4pm.