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NHS bosses have told hospitals to pass some scheduled surgery to the private sector, it has been reported [Image: Dominic Lipinski/PA].

NHS bosses have told hospitals to pass some scheduled surgery to the private sector, it has been reported [Image: Dominic Lipinski/PA].

I think this is the stupidest idea yet, in a long list of boneheaded ideas that Tories have had about the National Health Service in England. I suspect Jeremy Hunt is behind it.

(It has to be a Tory idea, doesn’t it? No NHS professional in their right mind would make such a suggestion? Or do you know otherwise? If so, please name names in the comment column.)

It is only a matter of days since This Writer pointed out that the National Health Service takes 6,000 patients per year from private hospitals, in order to put right botched operations.

The cost of this corrective surgery is £100,000 each time, meaning the public purse is paying £600 million every year to put right botched private operations.

And we’re told the NHS will pay private providers – handsomely – for what may be a wholly sub-standard service.

Only yesterday, a good friend of mine told me about a relative of his who had a hysterectomy at a private hospital – because the waiting list for it on the NHS was too long.

She started complaining of pain immediately after the operation and was eventually admitted to an NHS hospital for an emergency corrective operation – in which doctors found a rolled-up cloth had been left in her abdomen.

If that is the kind of treatment a paying patient can expect from private healthcare, what can NHS patients expect?

Not only that, but we’re being told that thousands of patients will be discharged to relieve the demand for hospital beds; this clearly indicates that they will be sent home too soon.

If I were one of the patients affected, or a member of their family, I would want to see the evidence supporting any such discharge. What support will be in place for them after they are removed from the hospital setting and how quickly can they expect help if complications arise?

There seems to be no information about that.

So it is time for another couple of POLLS!

Here’s the first:

And here’s the second:

I’ll publish the initial results in 24 hours’ time – around 2pm on November 27.

Hospitals have been told to discharge thousands of patients and pass some scheduled surgery to private organisations to reduce pressure ahead of a potential winter crisis, it was reported.Leaked memos also revealed that managers have been banned from declaring black alerts, the highest level, when hospital services are unable to cope with demand, the Daily Telegraph said.

The newspaper claimed instructions were sent by NHS England and the regulator NHS Improvement last month to reduce the levels of bed occupancy in hospitals, which are the most crowded they have ever been ahead of winter.

In the three months to the end of September, 89.1% of acute and general beds were full, compared with 87% last year, prompting the order for hospital trusts to take the drastic measures.

The goal is to reduce occupancy levels down to the recommended safe limit of 85% from December 19 to January 16, the Telegraph said.

Source: Send patients to private sector to avert winter crisis, hospitals told | Society | The Guardian

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