Good morning and Good Friday to everyone,
I hope that you are looking forward to the weekend and, with the social distancing measures being reduced, looking forward to catching up with friends and family.
Today, I have been asked to share an open letter; ‘Protect our NHS’.
Sometime over the weekend, I will be providing you with an updated Zoom Timetable and details of some of the in person / face to face activities that I have planned.
Summer will soon be here!
Have a lovely day
WHAT CAN I SHARE WITH YOU TODAY?
Centene: Open Letter from local civil society organisations to CCGs
Dear Clinical Commissioning Groups,
We are writing to you about the recent takeover of 49 GP practices by an American health insurance giant, Centene. These NHS GP practices are in a total of 13 Clinical Commissioning Groups (or 5 CCGs following mergers on the 1st of April) that cover our communities.
We are deeply alarmed that you allowed these takeovers to go ahead without consulting with the local people who will be most directly affected by this decision.
We believe that if you had consulted with local people you would have found a community deeply negative about Centene, given what we have now come to know about them and their track record.
In March just this year (2021), Centene was sued by the Attorney General of the US State of Ohio, for allegedly creating “an elaborate scheme to maximize company profits at the expense of the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) and the state of Ohio”.
In August last year, Centene was found guilty by an Arkansas court of systematically underpaying doctors who worked for them. Disgraceful indeed!
And in January 2018, people who purchased health insurance from Centene filed a class-action lawsuit against the company for, according to the New York Times, not providing “adequate access to doctors in 15 states”.
This is only a partial list of their recent indictments.
We cannot rest easy knowing that our healthcare needs, especially the healthcare needs of the most vulnerable members of our communities, are in Centene’s hands. And we believe it was negligent of you to allow them to take control of our GP practices.
It is common sense that Centene, who made £1.3 billion in profits in 2020, will view our GP practices primarily as a means to make profits. This means they will likely find ways to create underspends (for example, in terms of patient care and in staff and/or facilities costs), all of which will invariably have an effect on the quality of the care that our communities receive.
Moreover, as Centene did in Harlow, Essex, in 2018, there is also the risk that should our GP practices ultimately prove unprofitable, they will be closed down, leaving thousands of people without the GPs they know or without GP practices close enough to them.
We, therefore, demand that you terminate Centene’s contracts with your CCGs with immediate effect, re-tender for those services and fully consult the local communities in your next decision.
Thank you for your time.
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