Socialist Worker

Meet the fat cats who want to rob the NHS

Dave Sewell looks at some of the vulture capitalists—and Tory donors—who are already profiting from NHS privatisation.

Issue No. 2289

Protesters point out the huge donations that health privatisers have made to Andrew Lansley and the Conservatives (Pic: Smallman )

Protesters point out the huge donations that health privatisers have made to Andrew Lansley and the Conservatives (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Doctors, nurses, health workers and patients are lining up to defend the NHS from Tory minister Andrew Lansley’s privatisation plot. So just whose support are Lansley and his pals counting on?

Circle Health

Circle has just taken over the first NHS hospital to be privately run in Britain—Hinchingbrooke hospital in Cambridgeshire.

Former Goldman Sachs banker Ali Parsa is Circle’s managing partner.

He explained that the new bosses plan to split the hospital into “clinical units”. Staff will be given financial training, and are expected to be “responsible for the profit and loss of their unit”.

Already stroke patients are being told that they will no longer receive specialist care in the hospital.

Circle makes a big deal of being “co-owned” by staff. But it is backed by hedge funds run by Crispin Odey and Paul Ruddock, who have donated £790,000 to the Tories.

Sovereign Capital

This hedge fund runs a number of private healthcare companies, including Choice, Christchurch Court and City & County Healthcare.

Its founders include John Nash, formerly of Care UK, which makes £400 million a year out of the NHS.

Nash and his wife Caroline have given over £200,000 to the Tory party over recent years—including £21,000 directly to support Andrew Lansley’s office.

And Sovereign’s managing partner Ryan Robson has donated over £250,000 to the Tories.


The accountancy giant has pocketed nearly £1.5 million from London health trusts for training GPs in business and management skills.

Mark Britnell is KPMG’s “head of health”. He is also one of David Cameron’s most senior advisers on health policy, currently sitting on a special NHS taskforce.

At a conference last year, he told private companies to expect a “big opportunity” from health reforms in Britain.

“The NHS will be shown no mercy,” he said, “and the best time to take advantage of this will be in the next

couple of years.”

KPMG is the firm that was accused of playing a “grossly negligent” role in auditing US subprime mortgages, helping to trigger the financial crisis.

TLC Group

TLC makes its money from private care homes. Its founder Dolar Popat has given the Conservatives £209,000. He is now a Tory peer.

Figure it out

Organisations representing over 1.2 million people oppose the NHS bill. They include:

  • 400,000 in Unison union
  • 370,000 RCN nurses
  • 141,000 doctors and students in the BMA
  • 100,000 in Unite union
  • 60,000 in GMB union
  • 47,000 CSP physios
  • 44,000 GPs in the RCGP
  • 38,000 RCM midwives
  • 18,000 SOR radiographers
  • 15,000 RCP psychiatrists

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