Dame Shirley Willliams has a “Comment is Free” article in the Guardian in which she reckons, if Mr Britnell’s statement is true then David Cameron should sack him from his “Kitchen Cabinet”
“I do not know if the prime minister authorised or knew about remarks made by his adviser Mark Britnell, who, at a recent conference in New York organised by the private equity company Apax, is reported to have said that the NHS was to become a “state insurance provider, not a state deliverer” of care, adding that this was “a big opportunity for those companies that can facilitate this process”.
If Cameron did know about these remarks, this is a serious breach of faith with the British people, and with those of us in his coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats, who have been working hard on amendments to the health secretary Andrew Lansley’s NHS plans. During and since last year’s election, the prime minister has repeatedly refuted the charge that his party intends to privatise the NHS. If that is true, he must now dismiss Britnell from his “kitchen cabinet” and specifically reject his predictions for the future of the NHS.”
You can listen to him on a youTube interview a couple of years ago.
This morning David Cameron spoke and responded to questions on the Health Care Reforms in a live blog organised by The Guardian. In the afternoon it was Steve Field’s turn.
An audio of Steve Field’s appearance here:
Following the media interest over the past few days, it was inevitable that Steve Field was asked about Mark Britnell’s comment about replacing the NHS with an insurance system.
This was his answer:
“I’m not a member of the Conservative party. I don’t work for them. I know Mark Britnell … As reported, Mark Britnell was wrong. I haven’t heard any intention from government that this is what they want. What comes across in public as well as in private is David Cameron’s real care … [Field is interrupted from shouts from the floor and people waving newspapers.] I’ve heard no intention of that from government but I can only tell you what I’ve heard.
I’m not aware of any kitchen cabinet. Mark Britnell I know but I’ve only read what you’ve read. I wasn’t in NY when he said that. He has a legitimate view as a citizen of England as you do. My job is to hear views from “let’s have a free market” to “let’s have a system that is so tied down locally that there is no choice for the patient”. It would have been easier not to have come here frankly but … [Again he is interrupted.]”
Steve Fields and Mark Britnell go back a long time. They worked together in Birmingham, You can here them talking in this Podcast at a conference run by The Financial Times on the future of Health care.
So, who is Mark Britnell, and what does he do and what has he done?
He is currently is Global Head of Healthcare, KPMG.
From 2007 – 2009 Director General of Commissioning and System Management at the Department of Health where he developed World Class Commissioning and the creation of the Competition and Co-operation Panel.
Educated at Warwick University and considered a student activist.
Graduated from the fast track Management Training Scheme for the NHS in 1991 after working in private and public hospitals in Australia.
Seconded to the Department of Health as a fast streamer in the civil service before joining St Mary’s NHS Trust as General Manager for surgical services across four hospital sites.
Executive Director at Central Middlesex Hospital, and was also the Project Director for Ambulatory Care and Diagnostic PFI Scheme – the first of its kind in the UK.
In 1998, Mark joined University Hospital Birmingham (UHB) as Director of Operations and Deputy Chief Executive before becoming Chief Executive in 2000. UHB became a first wave Foundation Trusts in 2004 and Mark signed one of the largest PFI deals in the NHS to give Birmingham its first new teaching hospital in nearly a century.
In June 2006 Mark was appointed to South Central Strategic Health Authority (SHA), one of the ten new SHAs. He took on the role of Director General for Commissioning and System Management at the Department of Health in the Summer of 2007
Advisory Board of the National Consumer Council
Senior Associate of the Kings Fund
Non-Executive Director of Dr Foster.
Helped develop the NHS Plan in 2000
Honorary Senior Fellow at the Health Service Management Centre at the University of Birmingham.
His current involvement with the NHS : He is one of the Prime Minister’s advisors on healthcare reforms. i.e part of the so-called “Kitchen Cabinet.”
a red apple ……………………
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