FAO Sir Richard Leese, Greater Manchester ICB designate chair
Dear Sir Richard Leese,
We, the public, were not consulted nor did we agree to the latest reorganisation of our NHS and the creation of Integrated Care Systems, but we are committed to making sure these changes in our NHS work for our communities, our families and our friends. I hope that you receive this message in good faith and act in solidarity with us.
This reorganisation of the NHS provides you an opportunity to reset the direction of travel of our NHS. Instead of continuing to increase the influence of private companies, you have a chance to cut off their influence. Instead of ratcheting up privatisation and allowing private companies to continue to put profit before people, we want an end to privatisation and outsourcing in our local NHS.
We are asking you to commit to “Get private profits out!”.
Getting private profits out means being transparent with us, local people, about what decisions are being made by whom and for whose benefit.
Getting private profits out also means that there should be no conflicts of interest, or even the mere appearance of it in our local NHS. This means that individuals who work for or have a financial interest in private companies must not be allowed to be members of the board or the committees that make decisions in our local NHS. It is not enough for them to register their interests and not be involved in specific decisions they have an interest in.
Finally, getting private profits out means that services provided in our NHS must have a single-minded focus on what is good for local people, not what is profitable. There is no doubt in my mind that the primary interest of private companies is to make profits. For the NHS (Trusts and Foundation Trusts) we, local people, and our needs are the first, primary and, in most cases, only interest that matters.
Our NHS is on its knees, not only from two years of carrying the entire country on its back through the pandemic, but from a whole decade of chronic underfunding even before the pandemic started. This has led to a staff shortage crisis and to over 6 million people waiting for care from the NHS.
The very last thing our NHS and our communities need right now is for resources which could go toward trying to fix these problems being sucked out as profits and dividends to shareholders. 76% of the public in a recent poll want privatisation in our NHS ended.
The very last thing we need right now is any perception of a mixture of loyalties operating in our local NHS and impacting the care we are receiving or indeed the care we have been waiting weeks or months to receive.
We ask that you commit to rebuilding our NHS for people over profit. This means making: