Is Jeremy Hunt trying to fool us with the same con trick, all over again?


It seems that Jeremy Misprint Hunt is trying to pretend that his planned law making it easier to close good hospitals to prop up bad ones (and boost private health firms in the process) is happening because “Conservatives genuinely care about the NHS”.

Writing in The Guardian, he tells us that Clause 118 of the Care Bill currently on its way through Parliament – the so-called Hospital Closure Clause, “is necessary because we need the power to turn around failing hospitals quickly and – in extremis – put them into administration before people are harmed or die unnecessarily.

“The process has to happen quickly, because when a hospital is failing lives can be put at risk. That is why it matters so much – and why, in opposing it, Labour are voting to entrench the failures they failed to tackle.”

For information, Clause 118 was included in the Bill after Mr Hunt lost a legal battle to close services at the successful and financially solvent Lewisham Hospital in order to shore up the finances of the neighbouring South London Healthcare Trust, which was losing more than £1 million every week after commissioning new buildings under the Private Finance initiative.

The private firms that funded this work were apparently charging huge amounts of interest on it, meaning that SLHT would never be able to clear its debt.

PFI was introduced by the Conservative government of 1979-97 and, sadly, continued by the Labour government that followed it.

It seems likely that it will contribute to the absorption of many NHS trusts by the private sector, as the effects of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 take hold.

Clause 118 means the Health Secretary will be able to close successful local hospitals in England on the pretext of helping neighbouring trusts that are failing – without full and proper consultation with patients and the public, or even agreement from the (in name alone) GP-led Clinical Commissioning Groups.

The resulting, merged, organisation could then be handed over to private firms who bid to run the service at a price that is acceptable to the government.

So it seems that this is a plan to speed up the process of privatisation, rather than anything to do with caring about the NHS.

It seems to me that Mr Hunt is trying to lull the public into false security by claiming the NHS is safe, in exactly the same way his forerunner as Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, provided assurances before Parliament passed his nefarious Health and Social Care Act.

Mr Lansley said his law would increase the range of choice available to patients (it doesn’t; in fact, it increases the ability of service providers to choose which patients they treat, on the basis of cost rather than care); he said GPs would be able to commission the services they need for their patients (in practice, they don’t; the running of the new Clinical Commissioning Groups has been handed over primarily to private healthcare consultants, many of which are arms of private healthcare providers, creating a conflict of interest that is conspicuously never mentioned); and he said that CCGs would be able to choose who provides services on the basis of quality (they can’t; if they restrict any service to a single provider, they risk legal action from private healthcare firms on the grounds that they are breaching competition rules).

Mr Lansley lied about all those matters; it seems Mr Hunt is lying about this one.

Or am I mistaken?

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16 thoughts on “Is Jeremy Hunt trying to fool us with the same con trick, all over again?

  1. Ian Moore

    You are not mistaken, the Con-Dems are out to fill their own pockets, at the expense of the people of this country. What i find abhorrent is that the yellow peril are already trying to align themselves with Labour…….. i hope they are told to take a long jump, off a short cliff into political oblivion. It will be no more than they deserve…… !!!!

    1. beastrabban

      I noticed that, Ian. The past few times Clegg has appeared on the Andrew Marr show, he’s been talking about the Lib-Dems will be good for the country if they are allowed to be a partner in government with either Labour or the Conservatives. They were claiming once again that they had successfully prevented the Tories from passing even more extreme Right-wing policies. As Mike’s shown many, many times on here, they haven’t. In fact, they’ve shown themselves to be all too willing to join the Tories in formulating them. Clegg was also claiming that the Lib-Dems were the only party committed to equality and making economic savings. That’s also a contradiction in terms. The Lib-Dems have made a lot of talk about ‘equality’, but in fact things have become ever more unequal thanks to their Right-wing economic policies. So, basically, Clegg is scared and there’s absolutely no reason why anyone should vote for them.

    2. Terry Cfc Poole

      ffs, he talks about people dying needlessly in hospitals, what about the people that are dying needlessly because of the welfare reforms, hes a bloody hypocrite..just like the rest of them.

  2. Pingback: Is Jeremy Hunt trying to fool us with the same con trick, all over again? | debstillhere66's Blog

  3. jaypot2012

    Oh indeed he is lying! Is this to go to the HOL? If so, can we write to them or to MP’s to voice our disagreement with this law?
    What the public and the government seem to forget on a daily basis, is the fact that we, the public, actually employ the government, and the government is actually working for us! We have let that go over the decades and need to bring it back to the MP’s etc that they work for us, or they’ll end up getting sacked!
    The majority of the public will not agree to this, he’s already been told “NO” once (or maybe twice), by the courts.
    He thinks that by wording things a different way that he can go through with this law that he’ll succeed. We need to make sure that he doesn’t as that means that the fights for Lewisham hospital will not have been worth it and that he will close Lewisham anyway!

  4. Pingback: Is Jeremy Hunt trying to fool us with the same con trick, all over again? | Jay's Journal

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  6. Thomas M

    The Lib Dem party is a political whore who will go with anybody to get a sniff at power. Hopefully the voters will vote out most of it’s MPs this time.

    By damaging the NHS, the upper-middle and middle classes will stop using it and go private, making it only for the poor and the powerless. Whenever something is privatised-water, electricity, railways, etc., either there is a monopoly or a cartel, as only a few rich companies can afford to buy and run such things and the public can’t go elsewhere or go without.

  7. Leoni Al-ajeel

    The NHS is fine as it is, we do not need Jeremy Hunt poking his nose in, if hospitals got what they deserve in the first place there would be no failures in the hospitals. The NHS is paid for by the tax payer but this government would rather line their pockets first. The NHS belongs to the people not the government,we the people pay for it. Hands off Hunt

  8. Barry Davies

    Thanks to hunts changing the Lsw no hospital will be able to go through the process that Lewisham and Stafford have again the public will not be allowed even a sniff of a consideration the government will just close their hospital. Stafford suffered the additional indignity of the world being told lies about the care there, but the populace of the area know the truth like Lewisham the government want to close it to fund a PFI hospital just up the road that is financially unsustainable because of the interest on the payments. the government created this mess and we are supposed to take a privatised reduced health care system to bail them out.

  9. NMac

    Jeremy Hunt is one of the most dishonest and corrupt individuals in this rotten government. He embezzled thousands in expenses and when caught gave the childish and infantile excuse that he didn’t understand the rules. I won’t even go into his corrupt relationship with the Murdochs This man is basically a corrupt, common criminal.

  10. aussieeh

    Hello again Mike, all the best for the New Year.
    Slightly off topic I watched Going Underground on RT Sat morn, the reporter on there, can’t remember his name sorry, quoted a headline that Hunt had spent £175,000,000 that’s a hundred and seventy five million pounds supplying agency nurses to the NHS . That’s over 7600 nurses on £23.000 a year, working a 40 hour week for a year, I think, maths never was my strong point. It makes you wonder just who are his friends with employment agencies though.

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