NHS England has announced it is to reinvent itself as a bank in order to secure the levels of government funding it needs to provide adequate healthcare and properly paid staff by means of a multibillion pound bailout.
The news comes on the back of strikes by nursing staff who have had their pay frozen, and as NHS England report it could have a funding shortfall of £2bn.
“We have made savings of nearly £20bn” it said in a statement, “but are currently unable to afford some treatment for illnesses such as cancer, heart disease or MPs’ memory loss.
“Our staff – who ministers agree are hardworking and doing a fantastic job in tough conditions, but not quite good enough for a small pay rise - are also suffering, but if we become a bank we can expect all that to change.
“A small share of the £146bn cash ploughed into the financial sector would help fund the nation’s health care, and there may even leave a little bit left over for some really big bonuses and an above inflation pay rise.”
The move has been broadly welcomed by MPs on all side of the house.
Becoming a bank would initially mean the NHS would pass from public hands into the private sector, pacifying many on the government benches.
However, a quick bailout and renationalisation, Northern Rock style, will have it back in public hands quicker in less time than it takes to get a GP appointment, although the trust hopes it won’t take that long.
The statement went on to say that this move was not only important financially for the NHS, but also secured it’s voice in any future Tory government.
“Now that highly qualified and skilled doctors and nurses are officially bankers, it is guaranteed they will be listened to.”