The independent London newspaper

Why I will be snubbing diabetes advice sessions

10 March, 2017

•I recently attended my GP, who advised me I was at risk of diabetes, and wanted to refer me to the Diabetes Prevention Programme. A week or so later, I received a letter inviting me for advice sessions, from a private company, Independent Clinical Services.

ICS is essentially a staffing agency, supplying nurses and other temporary workers to the cash-strapped NHS. Agencies were described by the Daily Telegraph as “bleeding the NHS dry”. According to the Daily Mail, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt says these expensive staffing agencies are “quite simply ripping off the NHS”.

The business was run from an office in Pentonville Road by ICS’s director Richard MacMillan, who controlled a network of 50 companies ultimately domiciled in the Cayman Islands. But we no longer need worry about Mr MacMillan, because in 2014 he sold out to an American private venture capital fund headed by a guy who used to work for Goldman Sachs.

What lunacy is this? A counselling service for at-risk patients could easily be provided by the Whittington Hospital, and the money could stay in the NHS instead of being syphoned off. I intend to decline their invitation, and I hope others do likewise.

Plimsoll Road, N4


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