Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Edited version of lobbying document of what really happened during the 'pause'.

This newly discovered document handed to Social Investigations reveals the true lobbying that took place during the Health and social Care bill ‘pause’. I have edited some of the juicy sentences – to view the full document details click here.

To view article: ‘Key Member of NHS Future Forum Colluded with Lobby Group over Competition’, click here.Please share this far and wide.

To receive the original document email me on: andrewfiskar(at)gmail.com - and if you use the contents of this document, I would appreciate it if you quote Social Investigations as the source.

The task
Therefore the tactical imperative had to be to influence the forum members directly and to concentrate other activity on those who themselves would have most influence on the forum.’

Stephen Bubb Chair of competition and Choice on NHS Future Forum
‘ I also have the impression that the arguments in favour of choice, competition, plurality and economic regulation put forward by the small handful of like-minded members ably led by Sir Stephen Bubb have often carried the day and won more support than we might have expected.’

‘I had one lengthy, very early discussion with Sir Stephen Bubb at which we agreed on the approach he would take, what the key issues are, and how to handle the politics. He has not deviated from this for a moment throughout the period.’

‘A number of members secured individual meetings with him, thus reinforcing and validating the messages. ‘

‘I had a second lengthy meeting with Stephen to discuss the position with him last week, under the auspices of "Reform", with only a handful of other (all like-minded) people present, including David Bennett, the chair of Monitor. He has also consistently taken the same line as us throughout.’

‘Several members have used their own "routes" to gain access to key players within No.10 and have been able to report back that the stance there is supportive’

‘I did brief the new No.10 health policy adviser very fully, and indeed "cleared" our materials with him. I have has several other "stock-take" phone conversations with him. We are certainly on No.10's radar.’

‘We need to keep as close as possible to No.10 over the next few weeks. So much depends, first, on what the Forum Report actually says.’

‘I received an invitation to the PM's big speech last Monday and went. (Incidentally, for those who had the pre-event text, he specifically added a sentence about the importance of patients being able to attend private hospitals if they wanted to.’

The Lib Dems
‘There have been a number of contacts with the Lib Dems. I had an early meeting with Norman Lamb who continues to advise Nick Clegg very closely, and a further very long phone call with him on Tuesday this week.’

‘Meanwhile Nick Clegg is, frankly making noise in order to persuade parts of his party that he is really driving the changes needed to "save the NHS".’

Health minister Simon Burns
‘Jill Watts and I went to the DH yesterday to see Earl Howe. Unplanned, Simon Burns also asked to join the meeting.’

‘Earl Howe's depiction of the Government position was, to paraphrase, that "choice" was a non-negotiable; real choice requires a range of provider types; that means competition; and competition has to be expertly regulated. He could have been delivering a prĂ©cis of our briefing notes (which of course he had already seen).’

‘Later in the day, at the National Stakeholder Forum, Earl Howe endorsed my arguments twice during the session on competition and regulation .’

‘But as we move into the next phase we will need to shift our efforts onto the politicians - those the Government listen to, and those who will play key roles in the House of Lords when the Bill gets there.’

‘My analysis is that the aim is to use the authority of the Forum's report and the listening exercise to improve and make more acceptable the policy; circumvent the traditional "health politics" of the BMA etc; and provide the coalition with a robust basis for getting a revised Bill through the Lords and past the remaining dissenting Lib Dems.’

‘I currently think the need for an economic regulator in the form of Monitor will be endorsed by the Forum and retained in the Bill. The language may change: "sector regulator" perhaps.’

‘What will undoubtedly change are the top-level duties of the regulator. The hugely contentious duty to promote competition will be dropped and instead we will see duties to promote any or all of: "choice"; "integration of care""; "provider sustainability"; "continuity of services". That will be claimed by others as a huge victory.‘

‘If this view is right, Monitor will be free to do its job, and while progress will not be fast, the framework and principles will be alright for us.’

‘We have also had good coverage on the BBC website.’

‘And the whole sequence of Telegraph articles and editorials on the importance of the Government not going soft on public service reform, including some strong pieces on health, is something I have been orchestrating.’

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