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Reader letter: NHS secret must be outed

PUBLISHED: 11:05 01 November 2017

Antek Lejk, who is the chief officer for South Norfolk and North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Groups, will take on the role of leading the Norfolk and Waveney Sustainability and Transformation Plan. Photo: North Norfolk CCG

Antek Lejk, who is the chief officer for South Norfolk and North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Groups, will take on the role of leading the Norfolk and Waveney Sustainability and Transformation Plan. Photo: North Norfolk CCG

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Antek Lejk (who is the Chief Officer at the South Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group) says that it is not essential for the public to understand the Norfolk and Waveney Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), and that its development in secret was "so the public was not concerned about changes".

READ MORE: Healthcare overhaul process for Norfolk and Waveney was secretive admits health chief

In fact, secrecy and public ignorance have been vital for the STP: the October 2016 submission to NHS England identifies public objections as a key risk.

There is indeed much to object to: the lack of evidence for the proposals; their cuts-driven agenda; the selling of NHS estates and the costly private financing of new buildings for the Multispecialty Community Providers (not under toxic PFI, but Third Party Development, under which the NHS will rent the facilities from the developers).

The overarching objection, though, is that STPs are a transitional stage towards Accountable Care Organisations. Developed by the American health insurance industry, these are a key part of market-based healthcare.

And all the evidence shows that market healthcare systems compare poorly with public systems such as the pre-market NHS: they are far more costly and wasteful, and they cannot provide universal healthcare. The end of universal care means a return to the fear of the costs of catastrophic illness, which none of us can foresee.

So join the growing numbers of the public who are objecting to the STP, and demand the reinstatement of our public NHS.

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