The privatisation of NHS care accelerated by Tory policies a decade ago has corresponded with a decline in quality and “significantly increased” rates of death from treatable causes, the first study of its kind says.
The hugely controversial shakeup of the health service in England in 2012 by the health secretary, Andrew Lansley, in the Tory-Lib Dem coalition government, forced local health bodies to put contracts for services out to tender.
Billions of pounds of taxpayers’ cash has since been handed to private companies to treat NHS patients, according to the landmark review.
It shows the growth in health contracts being tendered to private companies has been associated with a drop in care quality and higher rates of treatable mortality – patient deaths considered avoidable with timely, effective healthcare.
The analysis by the University of Oxford has been published in the Lancet Public Health journal. “The privatisation of the NHS in England, through the outsourcing of services to for-profit companies, consistently increased [after 2012],” it says.
“Private-sector outsourcing corresponded with significantly increased rates of treatable mortality, potentially as a result of a decline in the quality of healthcare services.”
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Source: The Guardian, 29 June 2022