On Saturday 28th November, hundreds of Halifax shoppers were shocked to discover that global accountancy company Ernst and Young (EY) is calling the shots over the future of Calderdale Royal Hospital and Huddersfield Royal Infirmary – at a budgeted cost to the hospitals Trust of £1m for 3 months work.
Undeterred by icy rain, protesters waved brooms and placards asking
“What does EY know or care about us and the NHS?”
To alert the public, “NHS Nanas” armed with buckets, mops, brooms and dusters energetically swept away EY along the rainswept street.
Monitor are wrong to impose EY on our hospitals Trust
Halifax people queued up to sign a letter to Monitor, protesting at the NHS “market” regulator’s imposition of Ernst and Young on the hospitals Foundation Trust.
Members of Calderdale and Kirklees 999 Call for the NHS will deliver the letters to Monitor in London early in the New Year.
EY’s Conflict of interest means they should not be telling our NHS what to do
Monitor has instructed EY to come up with a strategic 5 year plan to transform the hospitals so as to get rid of the Trust’s deficit – but – in a clear conflict of interest – EY earns £billions of US$ each year advising client companies on a new model of healthcare they call Healthcare 2.0.
This American healthcare model is very costly and doesn’t work well for patients – but it produces fat profits for digital technology companies and Big Pharma, through promoting reliance on medical digital technology and smart medicines, while de-skilling the medical workforce.
Ken Cheslett, former chair of Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS campaign, who gamely took on the task of wearing the EY sandwich boards in the street protest, said,
“It beggars belief that people with the best interests of health care, or the NHS, would make a decision like this.”
A spokesperson for Calderdale and Kirklees 999 Call for the NHS, the group that organised the protest, said,
“We do not want EY imposing this corporate American model on our hospitals and community health service. The only people it will benefit is EY and its corporate clients. Monitor is wrong to put EY in a position where their corporate self interest can dictate the Strategic Five Year Plan for our hospitals trust.”
Hundreds of members of the public also signed the Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS Campaign Group petition. This calls for a huge investment in hospital services to provide safe and decent staffing levels and demands that both Halifax and Huddersfield A&Es stay open as full, blue light A&Es.
The twice-postponed public consultation on proposed hospital cuts and closures is scheduled for January 2016 – as long as EY’s Strategic Plan for the transformation of our hospitals doesn’t derail the proposals the Clinical Commissioning Group and hospitals Trust have finally agreed to put to the public.
NHS staff among members of the public said they knew first hand all about the cost-cutting pressures Calderdale Royal Hospital is suffering.
A member of the public queuing up to sign the Monitor letter and petition said that she had just received treatment for breast cancer at Calderdale Royal Hospital and that the NHS was “brilliant”. She added,
“We have to make sure we don’t lose it.”
Jane Rendle, NHS Nana and Chair of Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS Campaign, said,
“Shoppers we met were desperate to keep our A&E fully functional. They were indignant that £1million was going on a corporate management consultancy, that could have paid for hundreds of hip replacements and other treatments.”
Reinstate the NHS as a comprehensive, universal, publicly owned and run service
Pausing from handing out leaflets to the public, retired hospital consultant Dr Mike Galvin said:
“Trust in government intentions for the future of the NHS has been lost, due to under funding, medical de-professionalisation and decades of sly alignment for privatisation.To rebuild trust and morale, Royal Colleges and the BMA need to take a lead in restoring the NHS to its founding principles, through full support for the NHS Reinstatement Bill.”
A Dewsbury member of Calderdale and Kirklees 999 Call for the NHS added,
“The NHS Reinstatement Bill, presented to the House of Commons by Green MP Caroline Lucas, returns strategic
control of NHS services to NHS employees who know and care about our health. The Bill’s second reading is in March 2016.
It is desperately needed – privatisation of NHS strategic management is going on throughout England.
PwC is managing the ‘transformation’ of hospital services in the Manchester area.
Since 2010, EY has trousered £10m from the Mid Yorks NHS Trust, without any public accountability or transparency.
In 2012, Ernst & Young charged the Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust £2.6m, for telling it to sack 40 staff and impose huge
pay cuts on around 500 vital admin staff, secretaries and
Sacked admin staff had to be re-employed because the hospital couldn’t manage. At a huge cost in disorganisation