Showing posts with label 'think tank'. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 'think tank'. Show all posts

Monday, 24 June 2013

Communications reveal 2020 Health working with Lord Howe to make the NHS a"UK Plc Asset"

Documents released by the Department of Health under the Freedom of Information Act reveal a healthcare think tank with multiple links to coalition peers wants to turn the NHS into an “asset” of “UK Plc” - and which suggests the government needs to “charm” private healthcare “international corporations”

2020health calls itself an ”independent, grass roots think tank” whose purpose is to “create the conditions for a healthy society through research, evaluation, campaigning and relationships.

Correspondence between the health minister Earl Howe, former patron of 2020 Health, and the think tank’s founder Julia Manning reveals some of the nature of these ‘relationships’.

At Julia Manning’s invitation, Earl Howe was a guest speaker at a ‘high-level discussion breakfast roundtable’ with key clinical and industry leaders back in February 2011, during the ‘listening pause’ in the passage of the Health & Social Care Act through parliament. After the meeting, Ms Manning wrote to thank Earl Howe. In the letter, which has been obtained by Social Investigations, she noted that Earl Howe had told the meeting that the message of the UK health being open for business was “not getting through.”

Manning had asked what should be done to attract “global companies to the UK.” She pushed for a “radical message” to make the NHS part of the “UK PLC”, an “asset” and “driver of economic growth.”

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Reform think tank and their links to the Conservative Party

Reform calls itself independent. However the research below brings this claim into question in what appears to be the breaking of the Charity Commission rules for all charities to remain politically independent. Download as PDF

The 'charity’s' claim to independence is based on having one Liberal Democrat (Jeremy Browne) and two Labour members (Lord Warner and MP Frank Field) and a Conservative MP, (Julian Smith) on their advisory team. These however do not represent the overall dominance of the organisation towards the Conservative party, which can be seen by the powerbase, of the founders and trustees. The bullet points below represent a list of these connections.

  • All of the co-founders have links to the Conservative party.
  • Reform is recognised as part of the Conservative party movement by multiple medium including the Conservativehome. 
  • Two MPs to emerge from Reform both belong to the Conservative party
  • Two of the trustees have provided money to individuals in the Conservative party
  • Two of the trustees and a director have advised two Conservative MPs

Thursday, 4 October 2012

MPs and Lord's Financial Links to Free Market Think Tank

As part of a series of investigations looking into the free market think tank Reform, the financial links between our so-called public servants, corporations and Reform has brought into question whether Reform should be stripped of their ‘charity’ status.

Now Social Investigations has revealed the list of companies that give money to Reform in either donations or sponsorship who also are employing or have financial connections to our so-called public servants in key sectors of our society.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Reform: A Charity or a conduit for privatisation?

Conference season is upon us, and this year as with every other, the three main parties of the UK political system will each be taking to the stage in an attempt to define their centrist differences. ‘Tis the season to be lobbying, and one organisation in particular will be on the fringes, acting as the go between for their corporate partners and the MPs they hope to persuade; their name is Reform.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Reform - Setting the Agenda with Unknown Others

Reform is a right-wing think tank that claims to be ‘independent’. Like many think tanks they have charity status, although when you look at their work, it is hard to see where the charitable part exists. They are setting the agenda for our public services in meetings that only they know who was in attendance.

Reform has and continues to be influential in the attacks on the NHS. A document written by the health lobby group the NHS Partners Network revealed Reform’s involvement in setting up meetings with key players of the NHS Future Forum and Monitor during the ‘health bill ‘pause’.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

2020health Patrons and their vested interests

2020health claims to be an 'independent', think tank. It isn't. In total, they have 4 patrons, all Peers from the House of Lords, and all with financial links to companies involved in private healthcare. In one case, one of the Peers, Baroness Cumberlege, put her company into a position to make money from the reforms before the Act had been passed.
2020Health Patrons

The Four Peers are Conservative Peer, Lord McColl, was a paid a fee as a consultant to a new private healthcare company that provides a fee-paying rival to the National Health Service’s family doctor service. Endeavour Health, which was set up by two hedge fund advisers, and claims to be Britain’s first comprehensive GP network, offering opportunities to ‘beat NHS queues’ and have appointments at any time they want.’  

Baroness Cumberlege, who will be familiar to readers of this blog, runs her own training and consultancy company called Cumberlege Connections, the Conservative Peer moved herself into an alliance led by PwC, developing the new Clinical Commissioning Groups, prior to the Health and Social care bill becoming an Act. In addition, the former health secretary is chair of the Associate Parliamentary Health Group, which holds meetings under the Chatham House rules, which means no minutes are taken, even though the quarterly meetings are attended by multiple private health companies.

Liberal Democrat Peer Lord Rennard is another patron, who is also a Director of British Healthcare Trades Association, (BHTA) a trade association set up to ensure the market for healthcare and assistive technologies is competitive, profitable and well-regulated. They work in partnership with industry, government, and other stakeholders. The Coalition Peer set up a communications company with his wife called Rennard & McTegart Ltd, and through this company they provide public affairs advice to the BHTA.

Lord Tim Clement-Jones, and Liberal Democratic Peer, is the final patron, of the ‘independent’ think tank, who is a partner in DLA Piper, a global law firm providing lobbying services to “clients in the health and social care sectors”. DLA Piper counts Southern Cross amongst its clients. Lord Clement-Jones nominated Lord Hameed for his peerage, a nomination supported by Lord Dholakia. Lord Hameed sits on the board of Alpha hospitals, part of the Alpha Healthcare (C&C Alpha/C&C business solutions) group. The Alpha group has made significant donations to the Liberal Democrat party. In 2008, Lord Clement-Jones was the party treasurer. The Times exposed Lord Clement-Jones as being the man who nominated Lord Hameed, after the peer had originally said he had 'no idea.'

Just in case you were in any doubt about the independence of 2020health’s position on NHS matters, then a blog article in the Daily Mail written by the think tank’s Chief Executive Julia Manning, should dispel any of those thoughts. The article titled: ‘Andrew Lansley must spell out the importance of private enterprise to the NHS’, A significant problem for the economy is that confidence for investors in healthcare in the UK is being massively damaged both by the short-sighted, protectionist opposition to competition that is being driven by the health unions… The NHS has a track record of making flawed policy work, and it wouldn’t be where it is today without competition and private investment.’ Andrew Lansley is a fan, endorsing the website with this quote: 2020health '"Providing valuable impact on policy."

Finally; former 2020Health Chairman, Tom Sackville – a former Conservative minister – is the current CEO of the International Federation of Health Plans, which represents one hundred private health insurance companies in 31 countries. Not only this, they also have a hidden membership list, which I have suggested contains health insurance companies. They haven't denied this and despite repeated requests for them to publish their members, they have not.

'Independent' eh!