‘Competition for contracts to supply support services to the GP-led commissioning groups will be dominated by management consultancies, outsourcing giant Capita, and the US health insurer UnitedHealth. NHS England insists that the companies bidding for the support contracts will supply a range of back office functions, cutting procurement times and allowing doctors to focus on how best to spend their £70bn share of the NHS budget.
David Cameron has said the plan “is to put the power in the hands of local doctors so that they make decisions on behalf of patients based on what is good for health care in their local area”.
But groups opposed to the further privatisation of the NHS claim the reality is that the scope of the private firms is being dramatically expanded so that they will be allowed to provide services that, until now, have been undertaken by the NHS. They say that the move will end up costing taxpayers more and result in conflicts of interest as a number of the private firms are also advising the GPs’ commissioning groups.’
Read more: Fears grow over ‘land grab’ of NHS by private suppliers