Plans to radically change the NHS have been presented to Parliament (19 January) by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.  

Doctors, nurses, unions and MPs have variously described Lansley’s reforms as “extraordinarily risky”, “expensive”, “rushed, ill-conceived and potentially disastrous” – “it could be a bloody awful train crash”.  

Others see reform differently. “A new, exciting era. that will ultimately change, to our benefit, the landscape in which we operate” is the view of one CEO of a private hospital company. He is just one of a largely unseen army of lobbyists pushing Lansley for reforms that will see private health companies making huge profits out of the NHS.

To get the changes to the NHS they want, companies have been busy employing politicians (including former health ministers), hiring lobbying agencies full of government insiders, and paying think tanks close to the Conservative Party.

SpinWatch has made a film about lobbying by the private health industry for reform of the NHS, to coincide with Andrew Lansley’s presentation of his plans to Parliament. The film is a tour of some of the companies, lobbying agencies and think tanks involved and hopefully helps to shift the debate from being about ‘patient choice / power to GPs’ (the government line), to the key story which is one of massive privatisation.

Video produced by SpinWatch