Where did all the NHS budgets go?

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pathewitt.jpgThe Register picked up some interesting spam today, in which someone claiming to be Patricia Hewitt claimed to have squirrelled away £6.3m of public money, and that it is now being made available on the usual terms.

This is of course our old pal the "419 scam", albeit a bit closer to home than the usual I AM MRS MARIAM ABACHA.

And of course, transparently absurd. Hewitt would never have done something so criminal.

No, instead she and the New Labour government wasted £1bn, more than 150 times as much money, on management consultants for the NHS. Odd, perhaps, given that she herself worked for Andersen Consulting until New Labour took power.

Countless billions more were put into PFI schemes, often benefiting the same consultants in other ways. Don't get them confused with medical consultants, who actually do something useful.

Another £14.2bn was wasted on an ill-conceived and ill-implemented IT system.

But that's all perfectly legal, so why should we worry about it? Here's one thought, though. We'd all be almost incalculably better off if she'd just nicked £6.3m and given it away through random spam instead.

Postscript: it's perhaps not surprising that she's taken a well-paid second job with BT, who she's helped out in the past.


Aargh, where do I even start on this? This makes me madder than a bag of snakes!

Lets not forget that this was also pursued by Hewitt's predecessor Alan "Blair Lite" Milburn. After his stint feathering his nest as Health Minister, he resigned to "spend more time with his family". His "family" turned out to be Bridgepoint Capital, where he took a £30,000 consultancy. Bridgepoint Capital, you'd be unsurprised to hear, is a venture capital firm involved in private healthcare firms financing PFI projects in the UK Health sector and part owners of Alliance Medical.

Alliance Medical were subsequently awarded a £95 million five-year contract to provide and operate 12 mobile MRI scanners for the NHS carrying out 120,000 scans. The Royal College of Radiologists reacted by pointing out that: “There are a lot of MRI systems in hospitals which have just been put in by the government which are not running to full capacity. We hope [the deal] will not interfere with proper funding of these machines.”

The ex-Marxist Milburn also demonstrates his continued commitment to the health of the nation as an Advisory Committee member of Pepisco.

I could go on like this FOREVER but instead you should keep an eye on anything coming out of the new Centre for International Health Policy at Edinburgh University where Professor Allyson Pollock (my sage and guru) and eminent colleagues are currently pulling PPP/PFI to shreds.

There is an opportunity for Scotland to reject the dismantling of the NHS, it all seems lost for England now...

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