Much has been written in the past few days about how Richard Desmond's new Health Lottery might draw money away from other health-related charities and hospices. I have yet to read any comment about how it might be used to influence health policy and health delivery at the local level.
The Lottery is linked to the People's Health Trust and a network of 51 Community Interest Companies across England, Scotland and Wales with the franchise-like names of Healthxxxxx, for example HealthCalm in Derby or HealthLives in East London. The idea is the CICs will promote the Lottery in the areas and make decisions about grants and local giving policies.
Now it's early days yet, and all what follows may just be a coincidence, but in doing some research into who was behind the CICs all roads led to a virtual office management service in London and two directors, who are directors of all the ones I checked. In recent months a new director came on board, Anthony Vick. Mr Vick has a financial background and has been involved with various hospitals and health charities. About the same time as he became involved with the People's Health Trust and the Health Lottery, Mr Vick also became a consultant to something called the About Health Group. The About Health Group describes itself as being involved in healthcare innovation: most interestingly it specialises in working with groups of clinicians who want to provide high quality services under contract to the NHS.
Should we be concerned that there is a personnel link between the Health Lottery and opting out of the NHS?