Julian shares this latest news on behalf of Island Labour. Ed
At an all-member meeting of the Isle of Wight Labour Party, members heard how NHS England is consulting on plans to break up the NHS into “business units” known as “Integrated Care Providers”, or ICPs.
Private firms will then be able to bid for these business units, including potentially replacing NHS provision on the Isle of Wight.
The plans for the proposed business units are being brought in with little consultation or information to the public, and take the privatisation of the NHS further than the Sustainability and Transformation Plans which the government has already imposed.
It was opposition to the STP for the Isle of Wight which brought hundreds of Islanders on to the streets of Newport last year to protest about proposed cuts to provision at St Mary’s.
Labour member, and stalwart of the Save our IOW NHS campaign, Christine Lightbody, said:
“These ICP plans could see fragments of the NHS managed by non-NHS, non-statutory and therefore less accountable bodies. They are the embodiment of government plans to disperse the NHS and its staff, drive down public funding, promote private contracts and put cost limits and profit before patient safety.
“In Hampshire and the Isle of Wight plans are already being drawn up to move towards ICP arrangements, just like the STP this will happen without any debate or involvement of the public or NHS staff who will be directly affected.”
Critchley: Islanders need to listen
Island Labour Chair, Julian Critchley, added:
“Last year, we broke the news of the proposed cuts to St Mary’s, and the Conservative council and Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Robert Seely said we were “scaremongering”. Then, weeks later, those planned cuts were confirmed.
“Here is another case of the Conservative government, supported by our MP and the local Conservative council, smoothing the path for the privatisation by stealth of our NHS. Islanders need to listen to the campaigners of ‘IoW Save Our NHS’, and make their voices heard, before their NHS is stripped away.”
After hearing a presentation about the cuts, members at the meeting voted unanimously that Labour should actively oppose the introduction of ICPs.