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”
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.”