Recently released figures from the NHS’ register of land ownership reveal the health service has seen a 72% increase in the number of plots it has put up for sale.
2017 saw 418 NHS owned plots placed on the market whilst this year has seen a staggering rise to 718.
The selloff of NHS land is a result of the Coalition and Conservative government’s imposition of stringent spending cuts on the NHS.
The Conservatives have sought to justify the practice - and assuage fears that the land may be being sold off to the detriment of clinical care - on the grounds that the sites are not being used for clinical purposes.
The Conservatives have also sought to claim the selloffs allow the NHS to reinvest funds into other services and encourages the adoption of a commercial attitude to raising revenue.
However, the recent figures have seriously undermined the credibility of such an argument as 140 of the sites are currently being used for clinical practice. This is a rise from 117 in 2017.
Reacting to the news a spokesperson for the National Health Action Party stated:
‘The Conservatives are forcing the NHS to selloff vast swathes of land, many of which are currently in use for clinical purposes, in order to manage the damage caused by the cuts they’ve inflicted upon the health service.
The short-term sale of this property represents a potential danger to patient safety and could seriously hinder the future expansion of NHS sites.
The selloff needs to stop.
Only when this government stops attacking the NHS, and instead funds it properly, only then can we have a conversation about what to do with sites that are truly surplus to clinical requirements’
The National Health Action (NHA) Party was founded in 2012 to oppose the growing marketisation of the NHS.
The NHA Party stood against Jeremy Hunt in his SW Surrey constituency in the 2015 and 2017 General Elections, taking 12,093 votes in the latter: a 7.8% swing to NHA.
Dr Phil Hammond is the NHA’s latest parliamentary candidate and will be standing against Jacob Rees-Mogg at the next general election.