Since the election the privatisation agenda has increased sharply. The FT reported government sources saying the NHS can’t function without the private sector and that leading health corporates are seeking high level talks to find out what they can do to increase their market share. See Political Concern for more detail.
They aren’t wasting any time. An event has been set up for high level NHS and government commissioners/procurement officers to give an opportunity to the private health sector to ‘connect with a range of influential key stakeholders and decision makers across a range of NHS Trusts and collaborative procurement organisations, in a market worth over £20bn annually’. 
The invitation – which went out originally from an events management company to private health providers the day after the election, we understand – is supported by NHS Supply Chain and The Dept of Health and is designed to ‘enhance your chances of winning business within this lucrative marketplace’.
Keynote speeches will be given throughout the day, by directors and senior commercial managers from DoH, NHS Foundation Trusts, the European Health Public Procurement Alliance, the Crown Commercial Service and others. The final speech of the day is entitled ‘Where the Private Sector Goes, Should the NHS follow?’ There is no reason to imagine that the answer will be a resounding ‘NO!’, especially as an earlier speech is called ‘Never Waste a Good Crisis: Another Chance for Procurement’.
There will be a protest outside the event, meeting at 9.00am for 9.30am start on Thursday 9th July. We need as many people there as possible. There will be a static protest as a minimum and we also need teams of people handing out leaflets around the City Centre to encourage as many local people as possible to join in. Other actions are being explored. FURTHER DETAILS TO FOLLOW.


What you can do right now:


If you live in Birmingham can you offer accommodation the night before for anyone coming from a distance?

If you live in Birmingham will you volunteer to leaflet next week on the Tuesday and Wednesday?

People’s Assembly are organising country wide protests on Wednesday 8th for the Budget. Use the opportunity to spread the word more widely.

Write a letter to your local press and contact your local radio stations. This event will be pushed off the agenda by the budget. We must raise its profile so it can’t be ignored.

Prepare for a twitter storm on the morning of the 9th.
Let us know if you have any other suggestions. Defend the NHS, KONP, SOS, People’s Assembly, the Green Party and 38 degrees are all sharing information and building the protest. If you know of any other groups please include them in the loop.