David Heywood (our Chair) writes;
I recently received an appointment invitation from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Trust for the Community Glaucoma Monitoring Service. The covering letter informs me that this new service is run in partnership with Newmedica. My first reaction was anger and inquiry. So I set about trying to find out about this partner “Newmedica”.
I learned that Newmedica was founded in 2007 “to provide eye care services to the NHS”. In March 2013 The Times reported “Last year the company dealt with 35,000 patient visits and turnover doubled to £2.8m.” In September 2016 Specsavers, the largest optometry provider to the NHS, made a major investment in a partnership with Newmedica.
Their website states “We provide services for NHS CCGs, NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts, and other providers of NHS funded services. We deliver over 100,000 patient interactions annually, including eye surgery, in more than 20 services across England and have a proven track record of working with the NHS.”
Quote “The direction of travel has been set,” said Justin Crowther of Catalyst Corporate Finance, which advises healthcare firms. A report by Catalyst in September 2012 identified a £20bn opportunity for private healthcare firms in the next 10 years. Is it any wonder that Donald Trump eyes up the NHS as a treasure chest for U.S. companies?
Question: should I take this appointment or insist on treatment by the Eye Clinic at the Norfolk and Norwich hospital? Why should I facilitate my taxes being transferred to a private company for the benefit of their shareholders?