- CEO of UK’s biggest private hospital company accuses political parties of failing to debate real health issues
- Adrian Fawcett calls for all three parties to back an ‘intelligent partnership’ to meet the inexorable rise in healthcare demand
The head of General Healthcare, the UK’s largest independent provider of healthcare, believes “the future healthcare challenges faced by the UK are not being effectively tackled.”
Adrian Fawcett, whose company runs over 70 hospitals and clinics across the UK employing more than 9,000 healthcare staff, has accused Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats of constructing a “wall of silence” over the future of UK healthcare provision and called for a proper debate on how the UK is going to meet rising demand.
Mr Fawcett said: “Political timidity and party spokespeople afraid to put a step out of line has strangled any meaningful healthcare debate in this election. Healthcare remains one of the main issues in the minds of voters but the response so far from politicians is to offer complicated arguments over budgetary funding which completely miss the point. GHG launches its own healthcare manifesto today which urges policy makers of all parties to back an ‘intelligent partnership’ between the NHS and the private and independent healthcare sectors to help meet the inexorable rise in demand for healthcare while simultaneously improving delivery and performance.
Manifesto recommendations include:
- Fining all hospitals – independent and NHS – where an operation leaves patients with avoidable infections such as MRSA and C Difficile and use the money from fines to promote hospital cleanliness
- Mandating the NHS and independent sector to work together on national skills planning to avoid shortages with emphasis on up-skilling nurses
- Establishing consistent patient outcome measures across the NHS and independent sectors by 2012 so that people can make informed choices
- Allowing co-pay on top of the NHS tariff contribution for additional services carried out in the private sector
- Having all healthcare providers put their information in the NHS Information Centre as a repository
Adrian Fawcett, added: “Our recommendations consider issues affecting public health, including our views on how to get the very most out of our healthcare spending. We hope that this election period can set out an agenda for change which can be debated by the public – as it rightly should.”