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Hunt and Stevens - leaving their dirty footprints all over the NHS

Sustainability and Transformation Plans - the biggest attack on the NHS you've never heard of. 

Jeremy Hunt tells us he wants a '7 day NHS'. He's the only person in the country who hasn't noticed we've already got one. 

While Hunt distracts us, his NHS boss, Simon Stevens, has created a plan to solve the NHS’s problems - by CLOSING more beds and more A&Es. Stevens thinks if you close hospitals people will stop using them.

Before Hunt recruited him to run the NHS, Simon Stevens worked for in the US for 10 years for global health firm UnitedHealth – where he helped lobby for the TTIP trade deal that would help US health firms take over European healthcare. (1)

Now Hunt’s put him in charge of our NHS. He’s just carved our NHS into 44 bite sized regions, called ‘footprints’. And he’s told local health bosses that they must come up with a plan by 30th June to completely clear their massive shortfalls - within a year.

If they don’t come up with a new big cuts plan in a hurry, they won’t get any financial or other help, he’s told them. And he’s made clear that if they fail to deliver on the plans, they face being sacked or taken over by other – unspecified – organisations. 

Has a hospital closed near you? Is one under threat? 

But there’s only one way local areas can make up a huge shortfall in funding (which will otherwise rise to £22bn by 2020) – and that’s to close services and sell off NHS land and hospitals.

Stevens has already made that clear he expects local NHS’s to undertake ‘radical reform’ of how the NHS works. (2) 

And now worrying details are starting to emerge of what this means. North West London’s ‘footprint’ plan is to axe a further 500 beds, on top of earlier cuts, it’s just been revealed. (3)

We already know the government wanted to make huge cuts to A&E departments – reducing them to 40-70 nationwide.  The plans were shelved as ‘political suicide’ before the election. (4)

Now the plans are being dusted off. Many hospitals are already threatened (5). Apparently to make the NHS affordable we, the public, must get used to no longer having a major hospital within easy reach, or sufficient local hospital beds. Instead, local areas are expected to provide ‘care in the community’ based around downgraded ‘urgent care centres’ – a more profitable model for private takeover.

Want to stop this? Sign up here

We – NHS campaigners from up and down the country - are coming together and launching a petition calling on Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health and Simon Stevens CEO, NHS England, to STOP the dangerous new NHS cuts plans known as Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) now. 

These Sustainability and Transformation Plans are being imposed with no democratic mandate, no consultation, and no proper assessment of the risks and evidence. With your help we can stop this.

Please sign the petition here.






About the authors

Deborah Harrington is a health campaigner and writer. She's getting old and fed up. But she sees that the NHS is worth a lot of money to global corporations - and worth more than its weight in gold to us. So it's worth fighting for.

Caroline Molloy is co-editor of openDemocracy UK, editor of OurNHS, a journalist and speaker. She has been involved in many community campaigns, including successfully overturning the privatisation of 9 hospitals. Her particular interests include technology, services and the welfare state.


Madeleine Dickens is a Brighton-based health campaigner and founding member of the National Activists Network.


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