Martin recently responded to our article on one of the investors behind Circle Health who has given political donations to two Gloucestershire Tory Mps. Martin asked us to point to where he said that “Circle Healthcare was 100% employee owned”. We actually criticised Martin for describing Circle Health Partnership as 100% employee-owned, without providing the essential context that the staff own the minority share of Circle Health Ltd. Here is the paragraph from Martin`s very own website where one looks in vain for any mention of the fact that a large part of the company is owned by hedge funds registered in the Cayman Islands and Circle Partnership itself is registered in the British Virgin Islands:
The all-party group’s report on mutual and employee ownership in public services, Sharing Ownership, was published this summer [attached]. Steve Mellon of the successful Circle healthcare partnership – 100% owned by its staff – told the group: “Employee engagement, which has been talked about a lot, is much harder to sustain if all that employees are given is a “sense of ownership” – it needs to be more than just rhetoric. Actual ownership is powerfully symbolic and emblematic and conveys deep integrity… Employee ownership ensures that engagement is reinforced by the accountability of managers to owners.”
Fortunately a rigorous analysis has been done by the dedicated researchers at Corporate Watch who have revealed the complicated structure of Circle.
In light of this we are keen to know whether Martin thinks Circle Health would be a fit organisation to run Cheltenham General Hospital?
As well as helping to promote Circle Health, Martin has claimed that no cuts are being made to the NHS budget, the reality is that NHS Gloucestershire`s Chief executive Jan Stubbings publicly admitted in May 2011 that the NHS budget will be cut by £15-20bn nationally and that this will translate to cuts of £150-200m in Gloucestershire.
We call upon Martin to acknowledge this huge threat to the health of people in the UK, from a government which has no mandate to make top down “reforms” of the NHS. We have previously asked Martin to sign the pledge to keep Gloucestershire’s NHS public, he has not yet done so.
There is of course, no need for any cuts. We have previously mentioned Martin`s great reluctance to talk about the huge amount of tax evaded, avoided and uncollected in the United Kingdom, which tax expert Richard Murphy has quantified as totaling £120 billion a year.