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From: The Socialist issue 1017, 7 November 2018: Tories out - we need socialism

Search site for keywords: NHS - Hospitals - Mental health - Health - Hospital - Healthcare - Psychiatric - Fat cats - Children - Autism

Care crisis cashing in

Marching to save the NHS in London, 3.2.18, photo Mary Finch

Marching to save the NHS in London, 3.2.18, photo Mary Finch   (Click to enlarge)

Scott Jones

Private companies are making millions treating NHS patients in psychiatric hospitals that often fail to provide decent and safe care. An investigation by the Times found that thousands of patients are affected - many of them detained against their will under the Mental Health Act - and in some cases for years.

To provide this poor service the NHS can be charged as much as 13,000 a week, with some companies making huge profits. One firm has squirrelled away 25 million into a secret trust in Belize being investigated by the government. Another pays its chief executive 496,000. The latter - St Andrew's Healthcare - has been accused of locking a 17-year-old girl in a cell-like room with only a mattress and chair and meals passed through a hatch in the door. 76 of its other employees are paid more than 100,000.

About 2,400 people are thought to be being failed by these companies - most with learning disabilities or autism. The figure includes 250 children.

Patients are shipped out to private firms due to hospital closures and cuts to NHS mental health services. We need a fully-funded, completely publically owned and run NHS which can provide the services and care vulnerable patients need. Nationalise the private hospitals and kick out the fat cats that rip off the NHS and provide terrible care now!

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