Showing posts with label 'Health and Social Care bill'. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 'Health and Social Care bill'. Show all posts

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Earl Howe - A Former Patron of Pro-Market Health Think Tank

The Parliamentary Under secretary for Health Earl Howe, who led the Health and Social Care bill proceedings in the House of Lords, was listed as a patron for pro-market think tank 2020health, just before the elections.

Knowledge of the Earl’s patronage has only just appeared after the discovery of a policy paper written by 2020health for the Spanish right-wing publication ‘Sanifax.’ The ‘Dosier Especial’ titled ‘a healthier nation’, was a Green policy paper produced in January 2010 and introduced in Spanish as having been created with the ‘support of David Cameron’ on the ‘necessary reforms.’

Friday, 20 July 2012

Health Minister and Lansley’s Special Advisor held Meetings with Private Health Care Lobby Group to ‘reassure’ Before Parliament Aware of Bill

A newly discovered document has revealed a top-level political trio, held a secret meeting with a private healthcare lobby group to reassure them about the likely calming of opposition to the healthcare reform, two months before the bill was even introduced to parliament.

In October 2010, Simon Burns (the Minister for Health), Earl Howe, and Andrew Lansley’s Special Advisor, Bill Morgan, attended two meetings with a private healthcare lobby group, NHS Partners Network (NHSPN). These meetings have just come to light, following the discovery of another document written by the NHSPN, which revealed the discussions took place three months before the Health and Social Care bill was introduced to parliament.

The purpose of the discussion, according to the document, was to give members an opportunity to ‘express their support for the Government’s policy of Any Willing Provider (explained below) and moves towards greater patient choice.’ 

In addition, the members could express any ‘concerns about whether a level playing field would truly be created’.

So, the NHS Partners Network were able to access the very top of our political tree before our elected politicians had even been given a chance to debate the bill in the Commons. And no minutes were taken.

The meeting informed the network of a ‘command paper’ that was about to be published by the Department of Health, to set out the ‘principles of the NHS reforms more clearly’. They also ‘received assurances’ that the Government will make it clear to commissioners what the Any Willing Provider (AWP) policy means for them, and that they intend to ‘adhere’ to the reform timetable.

The update on where the government was in terms of action was backed up with further assurance that opposition to the AWP policy would not last long. The introductory paragraph of the document highlighted that both ministers and Mr Morgan expressed the view that any problems with the implementation of the AWP policy, such as opposition to commissioning of the independent sector from GP commissioners – were likely to be ‘short-term’ and ‘dissipate’ in the future.

However, several months after the meetings the situation had changed, because once the content of the white paper had been realised, a near total rejection from both the public and the medical profession resulted in the government taking a ‘pause’.

The so-called ‘listening exercise’ required a temporary group to be set up, called the NHS Future Forum which had Sir Stephen Bubb, a David Cameron appointment, in charge of competition and choice. We now know that Sir Bubb worked with the NHSPN, who together influenced the direction of discussion. The newly established forum meant a new set of lobbying was required, and the NHSPN made sure they were at the helm, as revealed in their annual 2010/11 summary report: 

‘This (pause) prompted a major new effort to communicate our views to the NHS Future Forum, and to the top-level political decision-makers to whom the forum will report.’

Part of the concerns the lobby firm had now centred on the policy of ‘Any Willing Provider’ (AWP), which had changed to ‘Any Qualified Provider (AQP). It was a semantic difference that was hailed by the Liberal Democrats as a victory. In reality the AWP commissioning procedure is set by an EU procurement directive, and the term ‘AQP’ does not exist in EU law.  

The British Medical Journal highlighted the significance of this change in an editorial aimed at the media, who at the time had failed to pick up on it: ‘If a future government wishes to bring a health or social care service back into public sector provision (say if the consequences of this reform turn out to be bad for patients) any existing or would-be provider may sue under EU law on anticompetitive practices.’

The NHSPN, however, did not want to take chances over any weakening of competition in the bill, and having ‘agreed on the approach’ to take with Mr Bubb in a previous ‘lengthy’ meeting, they turned their attention to Earl Howe, who would be leading the debate in the House of Lords.

On the 19th of May 2011, David Worskett, the director of NHSPN, set up another meeting with the Earl. A newly discovered document for the NHSPN’s members revealed that ‘Simon Burns also asked to join the meeting’. Mr Burns’ request to be included, according to Mr Worskett, indicated the recognition by the minister that NHSPN were ‘less than happy about things.’

The meeting went well for the lobbyists. The document revealed that although the ministers were ‘necessarily constrained’ by the fact that everyone was supposed to be listening, they gave ‘every signal possible that they understood and sympathised with our concerns and shared our view of the key issues and priorities.’

Indeed this understanding was absolute. Earl Howe offered a ‘depiction’ of the ‘Government position’, that meant ‘“choice” was a non-negotiable.’ This view led Mr Worskett to say: ‘He could have been delivering a précis of our briefing notes (which of course he had already seen)’. No wonder then that later in the day at a National Stakeholder Forum, Earl Howe ‘endorsed [Mr Worskett’s] arguments twice during the session on competition and regulation’.

The NHS Partners Network are not finished lobbying yet, having recently responded to the first stage of the health regulator’s (Monitor’s) review into the fair playing field for NHS providers. They held a meeting under the auspices of the right-wing think tank "Reform" with David Bennett, the head of Monitor who are running the review. A fair playing field has nothing to do with it. If that were the case, then Simon Burns et al would not have offered a reassurance on policy ahead of a debate in the Commons. The NHSPN’s press release announcing their submission to the review states: ‘We look forward to working with Monitor throughout the consultation process.’

I bet they do.

Unanswered questions

So why were the trio of Simon Burns, Earl Howe and Andrew Lansley’s special advisor, Bill Morgan, holding a meeting to reassure a trade and lobby group, before our elected MPs had even had a chance to debate the bill in the Commons?

Did Bill Morgan pass a message back to Andrew Lansley or did Andrew Lansley pass a message onto NHS Partners Network?

Further notes:

The newly appointed special advisor to Andrew Lansley, Bill Morgan. The former private healthcare lobbyist came under the spotlight in March 2011, following an investigation by transparency campaigners Spinwatch. Mr Morgan had received a list of GPs who were in favour of the reforms, who would represent a ‘public relations coup.’ The list was provided by an outsourcing firm called Tribal, who according to Spinwatch, had ‘£150 million worth of government contracts’, and were connected to some of the new GP Pathfinder Consortia.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

List of Finalists in the HealthInvestor Awards and their Parliamentarian Connections

This list makes up the finalists involved in the Private Healthcare Award ceremony, HealthInvestor 2012, which has an  MP or Lord next to the company they are involved in. This list, which highlights the self-interest may well not be complete and if you know of any companies that have MPS and Lords involved in them, please let me know by emailing me at [email protected]

View the article on the event here.


Corporate financier of the year

Catalyst Corporate Finance

Deloitte – Donates to the government through researchers to all parties.

Grant Thornton – Provided policy advise to George Osborne in 2008. James Purnell as senior advisor former Labour secretary of State for Work and Pensions.



Jefferies International

KPMG – Lord Harris of Harringey – Senior advisor; Lord Hastings, Global Head of Citizenship and Diversity for global tax; Baroness Manningham-Buller – had speaking arrangement for KPMG, Charles Clarke, former Labour MP for Norwich South, In 2008 was listed as a consultant to KPMG.

RBS – David Davies MP for Haltemprice and Howden has shares in RBS, John Hemming MP for Birmingham, Yardley, has shares in RBS, In 2008, Jonathan Djanology MP for Huntingdon, Dominic Grieve MP for Beaconsfield, had shares in RBS, Philip Hammond were guests of RBS at Wimbledon 

Consultants of the year

- strategic


FTI Consulting – Lord Malloch-Brown: Chairman of FTI Global Affairs

HPC - Healthcare Property Consultants

L.E.K. Consulting - Lord Wakeham: Advisor; Richard Fuller MP for Bedford was a consultant, Malcolm Rifkind MP for Kensington: Member of Advisory Board

Llewelyn Davies Yeang

UK Preventive Medicine

Consultants of the year

- transactional



Deloitte – provides donations to all parties through the use of researchers

HPC - Healthcare Property Consultants

KPMG – Lord Harris of Harringey – Senior advisor; Lord Hastings, Global Head of Citizenship and Diversity for global tax; Baroness Manningham-Buller – had speaking arrangement for KPMG, Charles Clarke, former Labour MP for Norwich South, In 2008 was listed as a consultant to KPMG.

Tanner & Tilley

Legal advisors of the year

- private


CMS Cameron McKenna

DAC Beachcroft – Lord Hunt of Wirral: Partner, Charles Clarke former MP for Norwich was listed in 2008 register of interests as a consultant in 2008.

DR Solicitors

Eversheds – Lord Hutton of Furness: Advisor.

George Davies Solicitors

Mills & Reeve


Shoosmiths – Guy Opperman MP for Hexam – received seven payments from the solicitors from 2009 to 2012 -

Speechly Bircham – Stephen Dorrell MP for Charnwood, received a £250 payment for a speech made at a dinner organized by Speechly Bircham in May, 2011.

Legal advisors of the year

- public

Addleshaw Goddard


DAC Beachcroft - Lord Hunt of Wirral: Partner, Charles Clarke former MP for Norwich was listed in 2008 register of interests as a consultant in 2008.

Eversheds Lord Hutton of Furness: Advisor.


Mills & Reeve

Pinsent Masons

Wragge & Co

Legal advisors of the year

- transactional

Addleshaw Goddard

CMS Cameron McKenna

DAC Beachcroft – See above

DLA Piper – Baroness Wheatcroft: Business consultant (legal services). Lord Clement-Jones: Partner. Baroness Symans of Vernham Dean: International consultant. Lord Warner – had a contract to do with infrastructure and public services.

Eversheds – See above


Mills & Reeve

Pinsent Masons

Shoosmiths – See above

Speechly Bircham – See above

Lessor of the year

- asset finance

De Lage Landen

GE Capital


Santander - Lord Elystan has shares in the Bank

Bank or Lender of the year

Aviva Commercial Finance – Lord Sharman: Chairman of Aviva and has shareholdings. Baroness Hayman has shares.

Bank of Ireland

Barclays Corporate

Clydesdale Bank/Yorkshire Bank

Lloyds TSB

RBS – See above

Santander – See above


Diagnostics provider of the year

Care UK Rotherham Diagnostic Centre - Andrew Lansley MP for Cambridgeshire South’s office was bankrolled by donation from Care UK chairman John Nash. Lord Hamilton of Epsom is a director of management consultancy MSB LTD who have Care UK as one of their clients.

GSTS Pathology


The London Clinic

UME Diagnostics

Primary care provider of the year

Army/NHS Scotland

Assura Medical


Healthcare at Home

Oasis Dental Care 

One Medicare


Serco – Lord Freeman – Shares. Baroness James: Shares. Lord Filkin: Advisor. Lord Gavron: Shares.

Private hospital group of the year

Optegra UK

Aspen Healthcare

HCA - Lord Hollick, shares.

Nuffield Health

Ramsay Health Care

Spire Healthcare – Patricia Hewitt – advisor to Cinven who invested in Spire. Alistair Darling who received payment of £10,200 for speaking at an event organized by Cinven.  

Staffing agency of the year

Country Cousins

DRC Group

Finegreen Associates

Geneva Health UK

Independent Clinical Services

RIG Healthcare


Private equity investor of the year

Albion Ventures – Lord St John – Non – executive director

Apposite Capital

August Equity

Bowmark Capital – Lord Powell of Bayswater: Chairman of advisory board

GI Partners European

Moonray Healthcare

Silverfleet Capital

Sovereign Capital – Andrew Lansley: Office bankrolled by John Nash who is a founder of Sovereign Capital


IT innovator of the year

Advantage Business Systems

Allocate Software

Cambridge Healthcare

Coldharbour Systems


LNT Software



Process Matrix

PS Health


Williams Medical Supplies

Telehealth/telecare provider of the year

Tunstall - Lord Patten is a senior advisor to Charterhouse Development Capital Ltd, who purchased Tunstall for £510 million in 2008.

Bosch Healthcare

GE Home Healthcare - Lord Darzi: Labour - Former surgeon drafted into government as a health minister by Gordon Brown when he was PM. Now an adviser to medical technology firm GE Healthcare.

O2 Health


Telehealth Solutions – Lord Edmiston has shares in Fidelity International Ltd, which acquired Telehealth Solutions Ltd in 2011.


Property consultants of the year

- capital markets


Christie + Co

Jones Lang LaSalle

Knight Frank

Savills Healthcare

Vector Property Group

Property consultants of the year

- property services

Aitchison Raffety

Capita Symonds Health

Christie + Co Care Team

Dacres Commerical

GP Surveyors

GVA Health

Jones Lang LaSalle

Knight Frank

Sweett Group

Vector Property Group

Property developer of the year




GB Partnerships


LNT Construction

LSP Developments

Medical Centres Group


One Medical

Property investor of the year

Assura Group

Bridges Ventures


Kames Capital




Domiciliary care provider of the year

Active Assistance


Enara Group

Home Instead Senior Care



Trimar Care

Residential care provider of the year

Balhousie Care Group

Barchester Healthcare - Baroness Ford: Chairman. Part of the NHS Partners Network. Chairman of Grove Ltd, a holding company for Barchester Health.

Care UK – See diagnostics at top

Caring Homes

Country Court Care

Four Seasons Health Care 

Ideal Care Homes

Maria Mallaband Care Group

Runwood Homes

Specialist care provider of the year

Active Assistance

Advanced Childcare



Home Instead


Lifeways Group


Complex care provider of the year

Christchurch Court


Independent Community Care Management

Neural Pathways

Qura Brain

The Complete Group

Community support provider of the year


First Call Care Services

New Pathways

Newham House

People to People

Public / private partnership of the year

Assura Medical / NHS Surrey

Cambridge Healthcare

HCA / The Christie Clinic – See above

Healthcare at Home / University Hospital Southampton NHSFT – See above private hospital group of the year.

Spire / National Orthopaedic Hospital – See Private hospital Group of the year.

Synergy Health / University Hospital Leicester NHS Trust

The Strategic Projects Team at NHS Midlands and East

Townlands Hospital (Henley)

Outstanding contribution by an individual

Helena Jeffery - Founding Director of Caring Homes Healthcare Group and First Care Homes

Lawrence Tomlinson, LNT Group

Mike Parsons, CEO Barchester Healthcare – Baroness Ford: Chairman. Part of the NHS Partners Network. Chairman of Grove Ltd, a holding company for Barchester Health.  

Friday, 9 March 2012

Lords conflict of interest investigation: Letter of complaint sent into Commissioner for Standards

Social Investigations have sent in a complaint to the Commissioner for Standards at the House of Lords below. The complaint is part of an ongoing investigation into conflicts of interest in relation to the Lords and private healthcare companies.

To date, eighty Lords have been found to have direct financial links to companies involved in private health care. The investigation will undoubtedly bring about more conflicts of interest before moving onto MPs of all parties, of which many have already been found.

The conflicts of interest are made worse because despite registering their interests, Lords are still able to vote. The Lord in question is Lord Hamilton of Epsom who has a directorship of a management consultancy company called MSB Ltd.He voted loyally on the Health and Social Care bill.

The House of Lords Commissioner for Standards
House of Lords

9th March 2011

On the 13th February 2012 - Hansard source (Citation: HL Deb, 13 February 2012, c556) – Lord Hamilton stated in a discussion on ‘NHS: Management Consultants — Private Notice Question’ 3:07 pm.

'My Lords, surely one of the problems of the National Health Service is the wall of money that was thrown at a totally unreformed NHS by the last Government? Do we not need management consultants now to show us the way forward on the savings that need to be wrung out of the NHS so that it can survive into the future?'

 Lord Hamilton has registered interests as a directorship for MSB Ltd (management consultancy)

He doesn’t appear to have announced his interests before speaking.

The link if this helps to the discussion is –

The rule that appears to be broken is: Under para 10(b) of the Lords Code of Conduct, Peers must declare when speaking in the House, or communicating with ministers or public servants, any interest which is a relevant interest in the context of the debate or the matter under discussion.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Are the Lords breaking their own rules? Lord Chadlington - Three Lords, One Company and a Democratic Failure.

The Lords are about to read through the Health and Social Care bill (H&SC), and this time they are looking at the elements within the bill that deal with ‘competition.’

The H&SC bill has been controversial from the start, in part because no mandate for the ‘reforms’ was offered to the public by either of the two parties who now form the coalition government.

Now, the bill is in the hands of the Lords, who through expert eyes will discuss and vote for various amendments placed before them, which we would hope would be conducted in an unbiased and considered way.


141  of the Lords have financial interests in private healthcare companies.

Now here is a key point: In the Code of Conduct for Members of the House of Lords it states under General Principles:

'14. A Member must not act as a paid advocate in any proceeding of the House; that is to say, he or she must not seek by parliamentary means to confer exclusive benefit on an outside body or person from which he or she receives payment or reward.'

24. The “exclusive benefit” principle would mean, for instance, that a Member who was paid by a pharmaceutical company would be barred from seeking to confer benefit exclusively upon that company by parliamentary means. The way in which the benefit is conferred should be interpreted broadly. All proceedings of the House are included, for instance:

• tabling a motion or an amendment to legislation;

• voting in a division;

• speaking in debate;

These Lords are set to decide the future of our National Health Service. And the question is should they be allowed to have outside interests that may affect their decision-making process. This ‘conflict of interest’ is exactly why the compilation of Lords and MPs created such anger, spreading throughout twitter and the Internet, because people feel these connections are not right, and are not good for democracy.

Baroness Barker

Part of the campaign to highlight this list has now reached the Lords themselves who are beginning to reply to the list presented to them: One such reply came from Baroness Barker, a Liberal Democrat peer. Although she is personally not on the list, she replied to Social Investigations with this message:

‘Please supply your evidence that any of the people named below who have taken part in the Health and Social Care Bill have failed to declare their interests as they are required to do.
Please supply your evidence that the individuals named below have furthered their own interests. Please supply as much detail as you have.

Thank you,

Liz Barker’

Seventy-seven Lords and rising with direct financial links to private healthcare companies who are about to vote on a Health and Social Care bill that may prove beneficial to the companies they have interests in, is not evidence enough. Although, it must be said we are not saying they ‘have’ furthered their own interests, what we are saying is that in a democratic society, they should not be in a position where they can further their own interests by voting on this bill.

‘Speaking on the website, Baroness Barker said: The NHS is too important to be used like a political football and failure to give this Bill thorough and fair scrutiny would be condemned by the public, who have already shown an unprecedented level of interest in this legislation. I hope they will continue to follow the proceedings of the House closely and be alert to any signs of gamesmanship.’

Agreed. Let's take Baroness Barker’s advice and examine one Lord in a little more detail to see if there is any ‘gamesmanship’, and you can decide whether or not he should be voting on anything to do with the Health and Social Care bill. 

Lord Chadlington 

Lord Chadlington is the founder and CEO of Huntsworth PLC, he also holds shares in the company, and has been a member of the House of Lords since 1996.

Healthcare Communications Association (HCA) is a non-profit organisation whose members are made up of pharmaceutical companies and communication agencies that work in the health sector. According to its website, it is run ‘by its members for its members.' It adds: 'It is now a high profile and influential player in the healthcare arena. It has sufficient influence and credibility to shape opinion and lead debate.’

One such member of the lobbying organisation is a communications company called Huntsworth PLC, who run a group of companies involved in ‘communications and lobbying.’

One arm of the group is Huntsworth Health, which operates in the U.S., Hong Kong, and Europe including here. Their website states how the company ‘provides a full continuum of consulting and communications services to the healthcare and well-being industry.’

One of Lord Chadlington's employees is Fiona Bride whose role at Huntsworth is the ‘director of market access.’ Her area of work is succinctly laid out on her personal profile page on the Huntsworth website: Fiona says she has: ‘expertise at leveraging commercial opportunities through market access at all levels of the NHS.’

In April 2010 Huntsworth Health’s director Fiona Bride chaired a meeting of the HCA, which looked at the ‘central role of commissioning in the NHS.’ Interestingly, the meeting took place two months before Andrew Lansley had released the white paper (Liberating the NHS), which since developed into the much maligned Health and Social Care bill.

Three months after the HCA meeting and in the same month as the white paper was released, Huntsworth Health acquired healthcare communications agency, ScopeMedical for £4.6m, thus expanding its health division. Lord Chadlington said of the takeover: "We are delighted to announce the acquisition of ScopeMedical," then added: "Healthcare is a major growth area and we are now very well positioned to take advantage of that growth with a fully integrated healthcare offering that supports the product lifecycle from discovery to patent expiry." It is not just Lord Chadlington that thinks his company is in a good position. Liberal Democrat peer Lord Alliance has shares in the company. The coalition is even closer than we realised.

Incidentally, Lord Chadlington is the Prime Minister’s constituency party chairman. They know each other well. Lord Chadlington paid £715,000 for a house next to Mr Cameron's last November; the home which Mr Cameron took out a £350,000 taxpayer-funded mortgage on. Lord Chadlington never moved in but sold David Cameron, a piece of the land at £137,000, which Cameron failed to declare.

The merry-go-round of politicians sitting in positions of power and working for corporations so that influence is increased is perhaps nothing new, but in the case of Huntsworth, they have truly had their fair share. Not only do they have Lord Chadlington as their CEO, but up until last year, they also had Lord Puttnam as a Director, and from 2001-03 Baroness Cumberlege was one of their non-executive directors.  Three Lords one company. Not bad.

Further connections between the lobbying company and the Conservatives were revealed in an investigation by the Independent, which showed the company had given money to the party over several years. Lord Chadlington had until recently denied there had been any payments, however, Electoral Commission records exposed this as a lie. Huntsworth gave £15,500 to the party in August last year and has given money every year since 2008.  Following the exposure, Huntsworth were forced to admit they had given money stating the money was given by buying tickets for ‘Conservative events’, a classic way for lobbying to take place.  Furthermore, Lord Chadlington, and his wife have personally given more than £20,000 to the local party since 2007, including a sum of £10,000 for his leadership campaign.

So, when Lord Chadlington (also known as Peter Gummer, the brother of John Gummer the former minister under John Major and fellow Lord) votes in the Lords, we know that anything he might say in the arguments for and against any amendments, will be clouded by the possibility of self-interest. Alongside this we need to consider to, the forty other Lords with financial interests and the prospect of the possible financial benefits the bill will present to their respective interests.

So there we have it. Three Lords working for one company who receive work from the NHS and through their membership of the Healthcare Communications Association act in tandem with pharmaceutical companies lobbying the government. 

What do you think – Is it enough to simply register your interests? Should Lord Chadlington, alongside the other forty Lords with private healthcare interests be allowed to vote? Do you think Huntsworth Health have an unfair advantage because Lord Chadlington is at the helm, alongside two other Lords who worked for the company. Is he breaking the House or Lords own rules? If so then are the others, and does this mean their votes on the bill should be voided. Or do you agree with Baroness Barker, that such a tale does not provide evidence that ‘the individuals named below have furthered their own interests.’

Finally, under the Rules of Conduct:

'12. The test of relevant interest is therefore not whether a Member’s actions in Parliament will be influenced by the interest, but whether a reasonable member of the public might think that this might be the case. Relevant interests include both financial and non-financial interests.' 

Therefore - You be the judge.