Wednesday, 5 November 2008
The King's Fund - an 'independent' body
I am a terrible cynic so I have never paid much attention to the ramblings of the King's Fund, however I am sure that many neutrals get sucked in by the pretence of this Fund being such an 'objective' voice of reason. As many other so called 'independent' bodies it isn't really anywhere near as independent as it first appears, much like virtually all other so called 'independent' think tanks which are run by a small gang of cronies with blatant vested interests such as IPPR or the Fabian society.
Invariably these 'independent' bodies are run by people who are casting their divine judgement on things in which they have never been remotely close to the coal face, it typifies the way in which a lot of the country is run so badly by idiots who have no understanding of the reality on the ground. The King's Fund claims that:
"The King's Fund is an independent charitable foundation working for better health, especially in London"
The Who's who of the King's Fund makes rather interesting reading too. Strangely the NHS' commissioning boss Mark Britnell is a senior associate, the man who controls the NHS' purse strings, no conflict of interest there then. Private Eye alerted me to this fruity little story. Britnell sat on the DoH interview panels ahead of the selection of the King's Fund and Co consortium as one of seven eligible for contracts to boost the skills of PCTs in spending their 75 billion on world class 'commissioning'.
Britnell co-authored the NHS Plan in 2000 with Alan Milburn, while two of the plan's other architects also sit on the King's Fund management committee. These are Tony Blair's former health adviser amd now UnitedHealth UK boss Simon Stevens and Dr Penny Dash, ad adviser to McKinsey and Co of private equity and independent health care provider fame. As the Eye has revealed the private links to the King's Fund do not stop there, Dr Rebecca Rosen is the medical director of Humana, a huge US health care firm, and she is also an senior associate of the King's Fund.
So when the King's Fund talks of opening up the health care system to yet more competition and private providers, with yet more needless bureaucracy, should we believe them when they talk of their remarkable independence and integrity? It appears the DoH is rapidly becoming a privatised branch of Whitehall and that little they do is in the best interests of the general public, they seek to satisfy their private masters first and foremost.