| CONFUSE AND CONCEAL|
The NHS and Independent Sector Treatment Centres
by Stewart Player & Colin Leys
With a foreword by Dr Wendy Savage
The Independent Sector Treatment Centre programme has been presented to Parliament and the public as a way of helping the NHS cut waiting times for elective treatments such as hip and knee replacements and cataract removals.
In reality it is a way of giving private companies access to the NHS budget for secondary clinical care.
This book tells the story, first as the government presented it, then as the House of Commons Health Select Committee tried to assess it, and finally as it really is - a bridgehead for the private sector to take over NHS services and staff on a steadily-growing scale.
It shows how the real aims of the programme have been obscured and how information on it has been regularly massaged or withheld. All over the country NHS trusts are closing services as patient income is diverted to for-profit providers on highly advantageous terms. The aim is to make NHS trusts compete in a new healthcare market. The effect is to accelerate the fragmentation of the NHS into a series of unequal units, in which profitability takes priority over patient needs.
"This is the first detailed analysis we have of the evolution, make-up and implications of independent treatment centres. What the book gives us is not only the story of a critical moment in the restructuring of the NHS but also a story of the persistent reluctance of the authorities to disclose information the public should be fully entitled to. The book should be read by anyone interested in holding our policy-makers to account." Sally Ruane, Health Policy Research Unit, De Montfort University
"For anyone still not convinced that the NHS is being broken up and privatised, this detailed study provides the evidence. It will be an invaluable guide and reference work in the struggle to preserve one of our greatest assets"
Peter Fisher, President, NHS Consultants' Association
'an excellently written and beautifully clear account of a key element in so-called reform of the UK National Health Service, which is usually discussed in convoluted terms guaranteed to confuse and conceal what's really going on. It is essential reading for anyone concerned with NHS policy.' Dr. Julian Tudor Hart
216 x 138 mm. 128 pages
Published February 7th 2008