Home > NHA in the News > Open letter to David Babbs, director 38 Degrees

Open letter to David Babbs, director 38 Degrees

Dear David Babbs,

I would like to introduce myself, my name is Dr Paul Hobday, leader of the National Health Action Party. A political party that was formed by doctors and campaigners in 2012 to fight to protect the NHS.

Whilst we appreciate the value of the platform 38 Degrees offers to NHS campaigners, we are concerned about an issue arising from your article in The Guardian last Friday 26 August.

38 Degrees commissioned Incisive Health, who you describe in your article as health policy experts, to review all publicly available documents on the Sustainability and Transformation Plans. You crowdfunded to raise the money for this commission. Although, of course, we were extremely pleased to see this being raised to such high profile by your campaign, there was little in the report that had not already been appraised and critiqued in the public domain. In addition, you report that 38 Degrees received a detailed leaked plan for one area. That was a real scoop.

However, we feel you ought to be aware that the co-founder of Incisive Heath is Bill Morgan, who was a special health advisor to Andrew Lansley, the author of the Health and Social Care Act (2012). The company itself is a health lobby group, representing private sector interests to government.

The National Health Action Party wants to see an end to the 'revolving door' culture of Westminster and Whitehall. In respect of your article it must be clear that Incisive Health is part of that culture. Not only does Bill Morgan's role in the destructive Health and Social Care Act (2012) make his company particularly unsuitable for NHS campaigns, their links don't end there.

In February 2016, Richard Douglas, the Department of Health's Director General of Finance, joined Incisive Health. Andrew Lansley said he had "hugely valued" Douglas for his "advice and guidance". Jeremy Hunt was also full of praise. Douglas was in charge of NHS money and policy during both Lansley and Hunt's reigns, and so had a strong connection to their cuts and privatisation agenda.

Incisive Health count Pfizer as one of their clients, so perhaps it is no surprise to find one of their ex-employees, Ben Nunn, in the health team of Owen Smith, given Smith's own career with Pfizer. Nunn also had a stint as adviser to Heidi Alexander whilst she was Shadow Health Secretary.

We hope that now that you have been appraised of the nature of Incisive Health, 38 Degrees will consider ending its relationship with that company as soon as possible.

Thank you for all you are doing.

Best wishes

Dr Paul Hobday

Leader, National Health Action Party

Notes:
From the Incisive Health website "Bill is a former policy special adviser at the UK Department of Health. He was one of the leading architects of the reforms to health and social care and has a unique understanding of the pressures that influence or impede change in the NHS."
Bill Morgan appointed as Special Adviser to Andrew Lansley - MHP
Health Mandate’s Bill Morgan has been appointed as Policy Special Adviser to Andrew Lansley.

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