One of the key issues to arise in campaigning for this month’s UK General Election is the future of the NHS and the role that private companies, in particular US-based healthcare companies, might play in that future following Brexit. Last week, the Labour leader Jeremy Corybn claimed papers he had obtained showed that the NHS was “up for sale”. This has been denied by the Conservatives.
Figures show that private businesses already have a significant interest in NHS healthcare and services and were awarded almost £15 billion in NHS contracts in the last five years. Additionally, NHS mental health services are dominated by private equity firms which are now estimated to provide nearly 25% of NHS mental health residential places. The Independent today highlights this issue and in particular the huge financial interests of three private equity firms Acadia, Cygnet and Elysium that have invested significantly in British public healthcare services, in particular in the psychiatric/mental health residential areas.