Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Reform – who do they represent? BMI healthcare



As part of an ongoing analysis of Reform as a ‘charity’, this time the focus is on BMI healthcare.

Articles in relation to Reform already exist here on the meetings with senior officials using Chatham House rules which are an affront to transparency. Another article looked at their role in supporting the aims of Aviva, one of their corporate partners. This time the focus is turned to BMI Healthcare.


Reform are according to their website 'keen to involve corporate organisations in our research because their expertise is often left out of the Whitehall policy discussion.’ – Reform website – corporate partners page


Reform are a charity - Dictionary definition of a charity:An organisation set up to provide help and raise money for those in need’.

Background – BMI Healthcare are not a small company

BMI Healthcare is the UK’s largest hospital group. BMI, according to the not-for-profit research organisation Corporate Watch, has a network of ‘over 70 hospitals and clinics, which treat NHS patients through the Choose and Book system, and is looking to sign more contracts with NHS trusts in a range of areas in the near future.’ Adrian Fawcett, who was their CEO until May 2011, according to the book ‘The Plot Against the NHS’, by Colin Leys and Stewart Player that he wants “co-paying seen as standard, so patients pay on top of their NHS care, for medicines or for their own room with extra facilities.”

BMI are owned by the General Healthcare Group who in turn are owned by a ‘consortium of companies including private equity firms Apax Partners, London & Regional and Brockton, and Netcare, South Africa's leading hospital group, which holds a controlling, 50.1% share. They bought GHG for £2.2bn in 2006, from BC Partners, its previous private equity owners. – corporatewatch

BMI Healthcare came under the spotlight recently following a letter written by BMI Meriden Hospital’s chief executive Bernie Creaven. The letter instructed their doctors to delay operations intentionally so that they would be encouraged to go private.

Do they need a voice?
If Reform are concerned that BMI Healthcare are not getting their voice heard, then they can breathe a sigh of relief. A selection of evidence is represented below across the decade revealing BMI Health and General Healthcare Group have had plenty of opportunities to get their message across to parliament.

In 1999, the General Healthcare Group provided a memorandum to the Select Committee on Health.
The topic was ‘The Regulation of Private and other Independent Healthcare’.

Back in September 2001, GHG gave evidence to the Select Committee on Health, on the topic of Public Private Partnerships in the NHS. The solution they believed was that the ‘future healthcare needs could be met more effectively by further developing a regulated, mixed economy in NHS provision.’

In April 2006, BMI produced written evidence for the select committee on health on their clinical outcomes. In 2008, BMI Healthcare were asked to give evidence on patient safety, and in 2012 as part of Independent Healthcare Advisory Services.

In 2009, a £250 per ticket breakfast event hosted by Reform, which included Andrew Lansley, the then shadow health secretary and other high powered health figures, also had GHG. The event titled the ‘Future of Health’, saw Fawcett sharing the stage, providing him and GHG with a perfect opportunity to lobby.  Powerbase, a fantastic resource and project of Spinwatch, the transparency campaigners, revealed that in a speech at the Reform Health Conference in July 2010, former General Healthcare Group CEO, Adrian Fawcett, called for ‘"greater self-responsibility in healthcare", saying "it is important that those that can afford to pay for themselves should be encouraged to if that makes financial sense to the Exchequer."’

Not only this, BMI healthcare sponsored a fringe event at the Liberal Democrat conference in 2011, where Norman Lamb was heading an event titled: 'Healthy choices: Reforming the NHS.' They are there again this year, sponsoring an invitation only event with minister of state for Care services Paul Burstow and Norman Lamb: 'Reforming Health and Care'.

As a top up for their already ample ability to access power, BMI Healthcare have received the help of Reform in promoting the idea of privatising hospitals. In a sustained campaign, both Reform and the Telegraph co-operated to act as PR for the private hospital firms. This followed a press release from Circle Health who were boasting of their success 5% of the way into their 10-year tenure. The details of the story are here.



General Healthcare Group and BMI hospitals expertise is not left out of ‘Whitehall policy discussion’, as Reform's reasoning would suggest. Like Aviva, their input is requested often. Reform does however ensure the message of hospital privatisation is repeated often and loudly, the beneficiary of which are companies like BMI Healthcare and their owners the General Healthcare Group. Corporate Watch exposed GHG as owning 37 hospitals owned by 37 separate British companies currently registered for tax purposes here, but each of those British firms are in turn owned by firms in the British Virgin Islands, which would mean there could be no stamp duty to be paid by a future buyer of the land and property.
Charity indeed!

Download the BMI Healthcare PDF here.


1 comment:

  1. BMI Healthcare were in fact an American based company in which had healthcare group called AMI Healthcare usa and AMI Healthcare uk.
    AMI Healthcare were facing a debt of £1.8 million in 1993 at the same time AMI Healthcare were facing serious allegations against children in units such as Grafton Manor, Kneesworth House and Langton House.
    At the same time of the so called debt AMI Healthcare sold Grafton and Kneesworth to the NHS and Langton House was sold to Bond Holiday Lets but as the sale of Langton House went through AMI Healthcare wrote to Bond Holiday Lets and stated that they have renamed themselves to BMI Healthcare getting rid of the letter A and replacing it with a B.
    I am fully aware of the history which also includes the american ami healthcare history.
    Both AMI Healthcares defunked themselves in 1993 in which Tenet and BMI Healthcare and GHG were formed.
    Seems a coinsidence that all these companies all defunked themselves at the same time and rename themselvesBMI Healthcare are into making money like AMI Healthcare, AMI Healthcare cared more about making money then the very children whom were being abused by staff.
    Big cooperate companies can get away with their crimes and the victims are left to suffer

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