Uneasy partnership

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a trade agreement currently being negotiated by the United States and the European Union, is set to remove barriers to the buying and selling of goods and services between the two trading giants.

Anti-TIPP campaigners fear the NHS and its staff will be a target for big business if the agreement proceeds

Picture credit: Press Association

Advocates of free trade, including the UK, have been eager to finalise a deal. Yet the public remains largely unaware of the implications of the TTIP agreement, and the effect it could have on NHS patients and staff.

So how might it work in reality? Suppose a clinical commissioning group (CCG) puts out a tender for organisations to provide community health services. Any service provider that meets NHS standards and costs – for example, hospitals, social enterprises, voluntary organisations or public sector providers – can offer to deliver these services. This includes organisations in the US and EU.

Let’s say that applications are received from a major care provider in Philadelphia, along with a couple of social enterprises and a private


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