26th June 2023

Even the Kings Fund is saying it
The UK “underperforms significantly” on tackling its biggest killer diseases, in part because it has been weakened by years of underinvestment. The comparative study of 19 well-off nations concluded that Britain achieves only “below average” health outcomes because it spends a “below average” amount for every person on healthcare.

Private sector can’t solve the NHS waiting list crisis
NHS campaigner John Lister says “The evidence that choice itself makes a difference to waiting lists is largely inconclusive. Patients are sceptical, asking why they should be expected to shop around when they just want a good local hospital”. A recent Health Foundation report has also warned that use of the private sector can only have a “limited impact” on tackling things like NHS backlog.

Palantir awarded NHS data contract
Despite considerable public concern, Palantir has been awarded a contract to ‘transition’ existing NHS projects into the new federated data platform. Palantir had no track record in health; it is mainly an intelligence and defence contractor whose systems support surveillance and policing. Previous NHS data projects have foundered because of a failure to win patient trust, this is no exception.

The risks of using Palantir for NHS data
A Foxglove report has identified the following – the Covid emergency meant the usual procurement rules were waived. The contract’s scope is vague, there’s a failure to design for patient consent and there are risks to over centralisation. It will lock in a single monopoly provider who has a poor reputation and several Palantir pilot projects have failed.

NHS: a shining jewel of social solidarity
The principles underlying the creation of the NHS continue to exemplify social solidarity expressed through policy: comprehensive medical and health care for all, publicly owned and provided, funded from progressive taxation. Nationally defined pay, conditions and quality standards completed the picture.