Margaret Greenwood MP – Press Release

Margaret Greenwood MP has today (7 July 2016) released a press release about tabling the NHS Bill as a cross party Bill on 13 July 2016.

Below is the press release in full.

 

Margaret Greenwood MP to bring bill to Parliament to stop NHS privatisation

Labour MP for Wirral West Margaret Greenwood will present a bill on the NHS to Parliament next Wednesday 13th July.

The purpose of the Bill is to stop the privatisation of the NHS and return it to its founding principles. It would remove competition and the profit motive as a driver of policy and replace them with the public service ethos which has been the hallmark of the NHS since its foundation.

Margaret Greenwood MP said:

“It is a privilege to have the opportunity to present this Bill to the House of Commons on 13th July. Doctors, nurses and campaigners across the country have been working tirelessly to combat the privatisation of the NHS that we are seeing.

“The Health and Social Care Act 2012 provided the framework for the privatisation of the National Health Service.

“Currently NHS hospitals are allowed to make up to 49% of their money from private patients. It’s is a national scandal. Nobody voted for that, and yet that’s exactly what the Coalition government passed the law to do.”

“The 2012 Act also made it a requirement that all NHS contracts should go out to competitive tender. As a result we are seeing big private health care companies snapping up contracts, taking them from existing NHS providers.

“This means that money that should be spent on health care is going into the pockets of shareholders. It’s just plain wrong.

“The NHS Bill which I will present to Parliament next week is designed to put a stop to this.

 “The Bill makes the case for a planned, state-managed health service, and reinstates the duty of the Secretary for  State of Health to provide and secure a comprehensive National Health Service in England.

“The Bill also provides for the integration of health and social care.

“The NHS is currently on life support, and the public, patients and NHS staff know it.

“This bill provides a viable alternative. The NHS was 68 years old this week. We need to make sure it’s there for all who need it for the next 68 years too.”

The Bill is what is known as a Ten Minute Rule Bill and has cross party support.

It is hoped that the bill will progress to a second reading later in the year.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

  1. For more information contact the office of Margaret Greenwood MP on 0207 219 4608.

Margaret Greenwood MP

Member of Parliament for Wirral West

0207 219 4608

 


Press release 24/3/15 – BMA Backs Principles of Bill

Press release
Tuesday 24 March

BMA Backs Principles of NHS Bill

The Council of the British Medical Association has agreed to support legislation which implements ‘strong and clear’ BMA policies on the NHS – which are reflected in the NHS Bill, laid before Parliament earlier this month.

 On 11 March 2015, the BMA Council completed its examination of two sets of legislative proposals on the NHS set out in Private Member’s Bills before the House of Commons. The purpose of its examination was to analyse the NHS (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill, presented by Labour MP Clive Efford and supported by 11 Labour MPs (the ‘Efford Bill’, which is about to lapse in its committee stage after weeks of filibustering by Tory MPs); and the proposed NHS Reinstatement Bill subsequently presented – on 11 March 2015 – as the NHS Bill by Green MP Caroline Lucas and supported by 11 Liberal Democrat, Labour, SNP and Plaid Cymru MPs; and then to compare the provisions of these Bills with current BMA policies.

 BMA Council established a large working group to identify which proposals in the Bills were in line with and would further BMA policies. In response to the reports of that working group the Council unanimously agreed to support legislation which furthers implementation of strong and clear policies of the Association concerning:

  • Restoration of the Secretary of State’s duty:
    • to provide and secure provision of services in accordance with the National Health Service Act 2006 for the purpose of the comprehensive health service that it is his or her duty to promote, and
    • to provide listed services throughout England under section 3 of that Act.
  • Limits on the Secretary of State’s powers over operational matters and day-to-day running of the health service.
  • Abolition of the purchaser-provider split, the internal and external market and competition.
  • The ending of PFI in the NHS.
  • The exemption of the NHS from TTIP.
  • The moral unacceptability of the Immigration Health Charge.
  • Ensuring public accountability.
  • Supporting national terms and conditions for the NHS.

These closely reflect the principles of the NHS Bill put before Parliament and the principal points of the Campaign for the NHS Bill.

The Council also unanimously insisted that where legislation to abolish the purchaser-provider split, the internal and external market and competition involves structural changes the legislation must be implemented in a flexible and devolved way to minimize concerns about potential disruption that might result from implementation of those policies.

Professor Allyson Pollock is Professor of public health research and policy at Queen Mary, University of London; and Chair of the Campaign for the NHS Bill:

“The Representative Body and BMA Council have made themselves clear.  BMA members should be writing to their parliamentary candidates to ask them to support legislation in line with BMA members’ strong and clear policies.”

Editors’ Notes

The Campaign for the NHS Reinstatement Bill is a non-partisan campaign and has a wide range of support across the political spectrum (http://www.nhsbill2015.org/our-supporters/ ). It encourages the public to contact prospective parliamentary candidates in their constituency, determine their views on the Reinstatement Bill, and gain their support for it wherever possible:

http://www.nhsbill2015.org

@nhsbill2015

The Campaign’s press officer is Alan Taman:

07870 757 309

[email protected]


Press release 10/03/15 – Reinstatement Bill published by Parliament

Press release
Tuesday 10 March

Here is the tool now start the job: NHS Reinstatement Bill before Parliament

Parliament will be handed a way to save the NHS from massive break-up and eventual collapse tomorrow (11 March) as the NHS Reinstatement Bill 2015 is laid before it by Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, with cross-party support from 11 more MPs. And to mark the occasion, NHS campaigning groups will be assembling outside Parliament on College Green, Westminster, at 11.30 am. Noting what could be the start of restoring the NHS back to its founding principles, and stopping the process of breaking apart and handing over of services to private healthcare organisations – which current legislation has guaranteed.

The NHS Reinstatement Bill, drafted by Professor Allyson Pollock and barrister Peter Roderick, is unique amongst proposals for changes to the law governing the NHS in having no party affiliation: it is non-partisan. It frames a clear mechanism to protect the NHS against the damage of privatisation, in overturning key aspects of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and earlier legislation that set the NHS in England on the road to fragmentation – often without public consultation, and nearly always without their full awareness.

Far from being yet another ‘top-down, centralised, re-structuring’, crucially it hands responsibility for provision of service back to the Secretary of State for Health, something the HSCA severed – thereby effectively uncoupling ultimate responsibility for the NHS from Parliament. It also spells out how, if the NHS is to be saved, it must:

  • Reinstate the government’s legal duty to provide key NHS services in England.
  • Abolish market structures like foundation trusts [1].
  • Abolish competition and contracts [2].
  • Centralise PFI debt to protect individual trusts from its impact.
  • Stop immigration health charges [3].
  • Stop treaties like the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) [4]without Parliament’s approval if they cover the NHS.
  • Establish area Health Boards from the bottom up.
  • Re-establish Community Health Councils for public accountability.
  • Require national terms and conditions under the NHS Staff Council and Agenda for Change system [5].

 

MP Caroline Lucas said:

‘Our NHS is being dismantled piece by piece. A fragmented, market-based structure isn’t the “national” service that so many people fought for so courageously.

‘It mustn’t be reduced to a set of transactions, contracts and bidding wars that hollow it into little more than a logo – and waste resources that could be spent on front-line patient care.’

Professor Allyson Pollock:

‘One of the things we want to ensure is that there is no horse-trading when it comes to the reinstatement of the NHS. Without the restoration of the duty to provide core-listed services, which the Health and Social Care Act removed from the Secretary of State, we will continue to see the NHS wither away.

 ‘We will then see a race to the bottom: the blurring of health and social care, more introduction of charges, and marketization.

 ‘So that’s why we’ve been working so hard on the NHS Reinstatement Bill. We’re been trying to get cross-party support and we have it.

‘What we need people to do is to get involved in the campaign to get prospective parliamentary candidates to sign up to the legislation so that if there’s a hung parliament and if deals are being done they know that the NHS cannot be part of the horse-trading, it is absolutely sacrosanct. I hope everyone will support the Reinstatement Bill and what we are trying to do around it.’

 The Bill has support from across the political spectrum. The MPs who have signed up to it so far are:

Caroline Lucas
Andrew George
John Pugh
Michael Meacher
Chris Williamson
Roger Godsiff
Kelvin Hopkins
Jeremy Corbyn
John McDonnell
Eilidh Whiteford
Hywell Williams
Katy Clark

(Parliamentary procedure limits the number of MPs who can support tabling a Bill before Parliament to 12.)

Editors’ Notes

The Campaign for the NHS Reinstatement Bill is a non-partisan campaign and has a wide range of support across the political spectrum (http://www.nhsbill2015.org/our-supporters/ ). It encourages the public to contact prospective parliamentary candidates in their constituency, determine their views on the Reinstatement Bill, and gain their support for it wherever possible:

http://www.nhsbill2015.org

@nhsbill2015

The Campaign’s press officer is Alan Taman:

07870 757 309

[email protected]

http://www.nhsbill2015.org/press-contact

[1] The belief that ‘competition is always best’ does not work when applied to healthcare. A comprehensive and universal health service is best funded by public donation, which has been shown to be far more efficient overall than private-insurance healthcare models. [Lister, J. (2013) Health Policy Reform: global health versus private profit. Libri: Faringdon.

[2] The NHS has always used private firms, partnerships and individual traders to provide services it could not easily or as cost-effectively provide for itself, eg some legal services and construction of or repair to NHS buildings. What the NHS Reinstatement Bill does is end the current obligation on NHS services to use tendering to determine which organisation delivers front-line healthcare: this is pro-privatisation engineering and is an ongoing threat to the comprehensiveness of NHS care.

[3] The Immigration Act proposes to discriminate against immigrants by charging them for NHS treatment.

[4] The TTIP, if enacted as it stands currently, would make it very difficult for future governments to reverse the provision of healthcare by private organisations if they could show this would prove commercially damaging to them [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transatlantic_Trade_and_Investment_Partnership ].

[5] The Bill would ensure that any handover of employment for NHS staff from NHS FTs, CCGs and NHS trusts to the new NHS bodies was conducted with the full participation of Trade Unions and would require the Secretary of State for Health to make regulations setting out the terms and conditions of transfer.

 


Press release 05/03/15 – Manchester leads but can others follow?

Press release
Thursday 5 March

Manchester leads but can others follow? The best way forward for the NHS means changing the law

Ten Local authorities in Greater Manchester are to jointly commission health and social care services with the 12 CCGs in the area, with a current value of around 6 billion pounds in 2016 [1] in a move towards integration and local accountability for health and social care services. But the question is, how will the NHS be protected in the absence of a clear legislative framework and statutory duty to provide listed services throughout England? A leading campaigner to change the law on how the NHS is defined and works will be speaking in Manchester this week, pointing out that the law needs to change if the NHS is to be protected. And asking people to back the NHS Reinstatement Bill [2] in Parliament by approaching their MPs and electoral candidates up to the election.

Local authorities currently contract out most of their social services and residential and nursing care to private for profit providers of nursing care which are charged for and means-tested at point of use. Nationally, there has been a major reduction in LA budgets resulting in reduced levels of service provision and entitlement to care added to pressures on the NHS.

The amount spent on social care services for older people has fallen nationally by £1.1 billion (14.4%) since 2010/11, even after accounting for additional funding from the NHS, and by a total of £1.4 billion (17.7%) since 2005/6:

  • 3% of all people aged 65 and over (1,230,625) received social care in 2005/06 compared to 9.1% (849,280) in 2014/15 – a reduction of 40%.
  • Between 2010/11 and 2013/14:
    • Older people receiving home care has fallen by 31.7% (542,965 to 370,630)
    • Day care places have plummeted by 66.9% (178,700 to 59,125)
    • Spending on home care has dropped since 2010/11 by 19.4% (£276,922,528) falling from £2,250,168,237 to £1,814,518,000
    • Spending on day care has fallen even more dramatically by 30% (£113,618,974) from £378,532,974 to £264,914,000

The real concern is that if funding is not restored alongside a strong legislative framework to ensure that the NHS continues to be provided throughout England as a planned National Health Service, the commissioning board will use cost shifting and marketization to break up the NHS and decrease access to NHS funded care by blurring the boundaries between what is free healthcare and what is charged for.

It is a crucial moment for local authorities to engage in local health services but legislation is required to ensure that the resources and services are distributed fairly and on the basis of need throughout England. The proposed NHS Reinstatement Bill [2] due to be tabled in in Parliament on 11 March will do this; and now it is crucial that everyone lobbies their MPs and electoral candidates to support it before and after the election.

Professor Allyson Pollock will be speaking at the Mechanics Institute, Princess Street, Manchester, on Thursday 5 March at a meeting organised by CLASS on the future of the NHS [3]. She will be talking about what the new Bill means, and why we need it now more than ever. Professor Pollock has helped draft the new Bill with lawyer Peter Roderick, and it is attracting increasing support from across the political spectrum.

The NHS Reinstatement Bill 2015 is due to be tabled before Parliament on 11 March. It will restore the NHS to its proper place and prevent further damage to the NHS by:

  • Reinstating the government’s legal duty to provide key NHS services in England.
  • Abolishing market structures like foundation trusts.
  • Abolishing competition and contracts.
  • Allowing commercial companies to provide services only if the NHS could not do so and patients would suffer.
  • Centralising PFI debts so they can be reduced.
  • Stopping immigration health charges.
  • Stopping treaties like the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) without Parliament’s approval if they cover the NHS.
  • Establishing local Health Boards from the bottom up.
  • Re-establishing Community Health Councils for public accountability.
  • Requiring national terms and conditions under the NHS Staff Council and Agenda for Change system.

Professor Pollock said:

‘The NHS is withering away because the duty on the Sec of State to provide has been abolished. This NHS Reinstatement Bill is needed to restore the duty to provide a national health service throughout England and make services accountable to local people again. The current break-up of services and their fragmentation and marketization and erosion of entitlements has only be made possible by the Health and Social Care Act of 2012. The current trajectory is to increase the blurring of boundaries between services that are free and those that are paid for in the marketplace – with market providers making those decisions about the winners and the losers.

‘Support this Bill. Write to your electoral candidates and MPs. We are many – but time is short.’

Editors’ Notes

Venue details:

Election 2015: Manchester – What’s at stake for the NHS?

The Mechanics Institute, 103 Princess Street
Manchester M1 6DD

Thursday 5 March 2015, 6:30pm.

Details/book:

http://classonline.org.uk/events/item/election-2015-manchester-whats-at-stake-for-the-nhs

Contact:

The Campaign’s press officer is Alan Taman:

07870 757 309

[email protected]

http://www.nhsbill2015.org/press-contact

 

[1] Widely reported and since commented on. See http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/feb/25/greater-manchester-councils-to-control-6bn-of-health-spending-report

[2] www.nhsbill2015.org.uk . The Campaign for the NHS Reinstatement Bill is a non-partisan campaign and has a wide range of support across the political spectrum (http://www.nhsbill2015.org/our-supporters/ ). It encourages the public to contact prospective parliamentary candidates in their constituency, determine their views on the Reinstatement Bill, and gain their support for it wherever possible:

http://www.nhsbill2015.org

Twitter: @nhsbill2015

[3] The Centre for Labour and Social Studies (CLASS) is a think-tank established in 2012 to look at key social issues from a left perspective: http://classonline.org.uk

 

 

 


Press release 10/02/15 – 100 On the Green

Press release
Wednesday 4 February 2015

100 on the Green

Over  100 Green Party candidates for the May General Election have given their clear support for the NHS Reinstatement Bill 2015 [1] and there is no sign of that support slowing down. This impressive wave of support reflects the Party’s core commitment to public services which are not privatised, but are true to their founding principles and can safely continue to be publicly owned for the future.

The NHS Reinstatement Bill frames a clear mechanism to protect the NHS against the damage of privatisation, in overturning key aspects of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and earlier legislation that set the NHS in England on the road to fragmentation – often without public consultation, and nearly always without their full awareness. As such, it reflects Green Party policy towards the NHS and other public institutions which have been threatened by privatisation and now stand on the brink of collapse as successive governments sought to sell them off for ideological reasons, and despite growing evidence that there is no strong financial argument supporting the privatisation agenda [2].

Far from being yet another ‘top-down, centralised, re-structuring’, crucially the NHS Reinstatement Bill hands responsibility for provision of service back to the Secretary of State for Health, something the HSCA severed [3] – thereby effectively uncoupling ultimate responsibility for the NHS from Parliament. It also spells out how, if the NHS is to be saved, it must:

  • Reinstate the government’s duty to provide the NHS in England.
  • Re-establish NHS England as a special health authority.
  • Re-establish District Health Authorities, with Family Health Services Committees to administer arrangements with GPs, dentists and others.
  • Abolish marketised bodies such as NHS foundation trusts, as well as Monitor, the regulator of NHS foundation trusts and commercial companies [4].
  • Allow commercial companies to provide services only if the NHS could not do so and otherwise patients would suffer [5].
  • Abolish competition [2].
  • Re-establish Community Health Councils to represent the interest of the public.
  • Stop licence conditions imposed by Monitor on NHS foundation trusts. These will reduce the number of services that they currently have to provide from April 2016: the end of the universal service.
  • Bring the terms and conditions of NHS staff back under the NHS Staff Council [6].
  • Prohibit ratification of treaties like the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) without the approval of Parliament if they would cover the NHS [7].

Jillian Creasy
 is Health spokesperson for the Green Party, and prospective parliamentary candidate, Sheffield Central:

“I fully support the NHS Reinstatement Bill. I qualified as a doctor in 1982. I have worked through the marketisation and privatisation of the Tory and Labour years and now the Coalition. Bringing in private providers does not only fragment services and leach money out of the public economy, it threatened the whole ethos of public service. Staff across the board have been forced to concentrate on prices and targets, instead of thinking about how to maximize the quality of care. Nothing short of complete reversal of privatisation will restore the NHS we know and love.”

Professor Allyson Pollock worked with Peter Roderick, a lawyer, on the NHS Reinstatement Bill:

“We’re delighted so many Green Party candidates have voiced their support. It’s encouraging to see candidates for a party which stands for responsible public ownership and an eye to the legacy we leave our descendants say they are behind us. Members of the public, parliamentary candidates, health professionals: all are coming forward to say enough is enough – and this Bill is the way back to a future health service we can be proud to think of protecting. Please, if you do nothing else before this election, ask your parliamentary candidates to say what they think of the NHS Reinstatement Bill and let us know.”

 

Editors’ Notes

[1] The Campaign for the NHS Reinstatement Bill is a non-partisan campaign and has a wide range of support across the political spectrum. It encourages the public to contact prospective parliamentary candidates in their constituency, determine their views on the Reinstatement Bill, and gain their support for it wherever possible.

The Campaign’s press officer is Alan Taman
07870 757 309
[email protected]

[2] The belief that ‘competition is always best’ does not work when applied to healthcare. A comprehensive and universal health service is best funded by public donation, which has been shown to be far more efficient overall than private-insurance healthcare models. [Lister, J. (2013) Health Policy Reform: global health versus private profit. Libri: Faringdon.

[3] The HSCA has removed the Secretary of State for Health’s responsibility to provide as well as promote a universal, comprehensive health service in England. In effect, this has compromised parliament’s ultimate responsibility for the NHS. [Pollock, A. and Price, D. (2013) In NHS SOS, ed by Davis, J. and Tallis, R. Oneworld: London, 178-181.]The NHS Reinstatement Bill [http://www.nhsbill2015.org/the-bill] would restore this founding principle of the NHS, which has been undermined largely for ideological reasons and despite the evidence that inequalities in health are growing in the UK as a direct result of wider inequalities fostered by the same ideology [Dorling, D. (2013) Unequal Health: The scandal of our times. The Policy Press: London, Chapter 1].

[4] The Bill would ensure that any handover of employment for NHS staff from NHS FTs, CCGs and NHS trusts to the new NHS bodies was conducted with the full participation of Trade Unions and would require the Secretary of State for Health to make regulations setting out the terms and conditions of transfer. Overturning the current situation where long-established agreements with the workforce are being systematically overturned, to the detriment of many NHS staff.

[5] The NHS has always used private firms, partnerships and individual traders to provide services it could not easily or as cost-effectively provide for itself, eg some legal services and construction of or repair to NHS buildings. What the NHS Reinstatement Bill does is end the current obligation on NHS services to use tendering to determine which organisation delivers front-line healthcare: this is pro-privatisation engineering and is an ongoing threat to the comprehensiveness of NHS care.

[6] The Bill would ensure that any handover of employment for NHS staff from NHS FTs, CCGs and NHS trusts to the new NHS bodies was conducted with the full participation of Trade Unions and would require the Secretary of State for Health to make regulations setting out the terms and conditions of transfer.

[7] The TTIP, if enacted as it stands currently, would make it very difficult for future governments to reverse the provision of healthcare by private organisations if they could show this would prove commercially damaging to them [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transatlantic_Trade_and_Investment_Partnership ].

 


Press Release 04/02/15 – Efford Bill falters with Tory filibustering

Press release
Wednesday 4 February 2015

Efford Bill Falters with Tory Filibustering

In a triumph of procrastination, Tory MPs sitting on the House of Commons Committee for the Efford Bill (NHS (Amended Duties and Powers Bill)) showed their mastery of filibustering today – by spending over 2 hours debating whether future meetings should start at a later time.

Clive Efford’s Private Members’ Bill is Labour’s attempt to fix the damage already done to our health service by the Health and Social Care Act 2012. Yet it is being killed slowly at its committee stage by Tory MPs. Mr Conservative David Nuttall’s amendment to the Bill, proposing to shift the start time of future meetings from 9.30 am to 10 pm, set the stage for Mr Nuttall to spend most of the hearing describing why this would be a good idea, including his view that it would allow MPs more time to get to the meetings during adverse weather. He was repeatedly supported in his procrastinations by Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative), who at one stage said that the later start would help ‘Westminster clerks’ brains’ to work better.

It now seems certain that the filibustering will continue until the Efford Bill runs out of time and fails to become law.

The only committee member present who voiced strong opposition to this was Phil Wilson (Labour), who on a point of order was able to state what most people would surely be thinking:

“… the NHS is the top concern of the public outside this House. This Bill received a second reading with 241 votes to 18. Won’t people struggle to understand why we’re not discussing the substance of the Bill rather than having to listen to Conservative members waffle inanely for nearly two and half hours?”

To which the Conservative Chairman of the Committee, Jim Hood, simply replied: ‘this was not a matter for the chair’.

If there were ever doubts that the current government has any intention of stopping or slowing down the continued privatisation and dismantling of the NHS, this latest act of parliamentary filibustering should dispel them.

The NHS Reinstatement Bill goes further than the Efford Bill in tackling the current dangers to the NHS. It focuses directly on the risks of the purchaser-provider split, as well as giving back to the Secretary of State the responsibility to provide a universal, comprehensive health service (instead of just promoting one, which is now the case). It is critical that it is included in the next Parliament, and the Campaign for the NHS Reinstatement Bill 2015 is asking as many people as possible to approach their prospective MPs before the election and find out whether they support the Reinstatement Bill.

Campaign spokesman Alan Taman said:

“Filibustering is not new. What is new, and shocking, is the way Conservative MPs are using this tactic to stop any substantial discussion on such an important topic. We can expect more of the same unless MPs know they can’t get away with it. Then to see the NHS crumble as its most profitable services are given to private providers and we are left with a two-tier service. You can probably guess where the poorest and most vulnerable will have to get their healthcare from. This has to be stopped by changing the law. We’ve one chance to save our one health service. Please, support the NHS Reinstatement Bill.”

 

Editor’s Note

The Campaign for the NHS Reinstatement Bill is a non-partisan campaign and has a wide range of support across the political spectrum. It encourages the public to contact prospective parliamentary candidates in their constituency, determine their views on the Reinstatement Bill, and gain their support for it wherever possible.

The Campaign’s press officer is Alan Taman
07870 757 309
[email protected]


Press Release 22/01/2015 – SNP Back NHS Reinstatement Bill

Press release
22 January 2015

SNP Back NHS Reinstatement Bill

In a move which confirms the need for the NHS Reinstatement Bill and affirms the aims of the bill’s Campaign, SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon has made plain her party’s determination to stop NHS privatisation in England as well as Scotland, and to form alliances with English parties and organisations who want to see the current dismantling of the NHS stopped.

There is growing political opposition to the effects of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 in England, which is leading to marketization and the withering away of NHS funded services. The SNP’s statement and Nicola Sturgeon’s comments on national media describe clearly how the SNP would vote to support any legislation which stopped marketization of the NHS in England as well as in Scotland.

In a press statement the SNP said:

“The SNP are indicating support for the Campaign for an NHS Reinstatement Bill 2015 being pursued in England by, among others, Professor Allyson Pollock, Professor of Public Health Research and Policy. It proposes to abolish competition and the purchaser-provider split, re-establish public bodies and public accountability, and restrict the role of commercial companies. The Campaign also states that their proposed Bill would reinstate the government’s legal duty to provide the NHS in England.”

In an interview for Channel 4 News Scotland’s First Minister said:

“I’m signalling today that if there are votes in the House of Commons after the general election that would propose halting the privatisation of the health service we’re seeing in England, that would propose restoring the health service as a fully public service, then SNP MPs would vote for that because that would help us protect our own budget in the future. It would also be part of our progressive alliance with others in England who also want to see a halt to NHS privatisation.

“The NHS Reinstatement Bill aims to restore the Secretary of State for Health’s duty to provide core NHS services throughout England, overturn the split between the health organisations providing care and those paying for it (the ‘purchaser-provider split’), and end the wasteful practice of compulsory tendering for services. The only way to stop the abolition of the NHS completely is to change the law.”

Professor Allyson Pollock worked with Peter Roderick, a lawyer, on the NHS Reinstatement Bill:

“The SNP have taken a crucial stand in defence of universal health care and against the destruction of our NHS in England. The Campaign for the NHS Reinstatement Bill is non-partisan, and we welcome support for the bill from all parties. The SNP’s comments have given us the clearest signal yet that this must happen to restore the NHS and prevent its wholesale destruction.”

[Ends]

 

 

Editor’s Note

The Campaign for the NHS Reinstatement Bill is a non-partisan campaign and has a wide range of support across the political spectrum. It encourages the public to contact prospective parliamentary candidates in their constituency, determine their views on the Reinstatement Bill, and gain their support for it wherever possible.

The Campaign’s press officer is Alan Taman
07870 757 309
[email protected]

 


Press Release 20/01/2015 – Why Hinchinbrooke means that law must change

Press Release
Tuesday 20 January 2015

Mutually Assured Destruction:
Why Hinchinbrooke means the law must change

The withdrawal of Circle from the management of Hinchinbrooke Hospital is not an isolated example. It is an early symptom of the failure of the NHS and there will be more unless the current incremental destruction of the NHS is stopped by changing the law. The worst thing to do is nothing and there is very little time to act.

This is the argument of the Campaign for the NHS Reinstatement Bill, Lord David Owen’s solution to reversing the changes of the Health and Social Care Act (HSCA). Writing in the Guardian today, Lord Owen exposes the argument for ‘mutual’ management of NHS organisations by commercial interests such as Circle and what remains of the public service for what it truly is: a misapplication of principles which may well work in areas like retail or manufacturing but which simply cannot work in providing comprehensive healthcare. Far from generating mutual commitment and the best possible outcomes for the public, these schemes are merely the mechanism by which pro-market, pro-privatisation parties can dismantle the NHS as a unified, comprehensive public service.

The only way to stop this is to change the law. By ‘de-coupling’ the responsibility of the Minister for Health for the NHS, and instead only insisting ministerial duty is confined to ‘promoting’ healthcare, the HSCA ensured there was no ultimate parliamentary responsibility for the NHS. It also further widened the gap between those providing the care and those paying for it, and made it almost impossible for existing NHS services to be regarded as the preferred one: providers are obliged to put services out to tender. All of which guarantees fragmentation and a carving off of the most lucrative sections of the NHS to private providers, again at the cost of undermining comprehensive and equitable care for all.

Far from being yet another, top-down, centralised imposition of change, the NHS Reinstatement Bill seeks to stop then repair the damage already done and restore the NHS for what it is admired globally as being: the fairest way of allocating health resources for the public so that all can be confident they are going to get the best available treatment, and none have to face the nightmare of being excluded because they live in the wrong area, or can’t find the money for private healthcare.

Professor Allyson Pollock is Professor of Public Health Research and Policy at Queen Mary College, University of London, and is a passionate supporter of the Campaign:

“What Circle have done at Hinchinbrooke betrays the true agenda for the NHS under existing legislation: a less comprehensive, less effective and less accountable service which is increasingly in the hands of private providers. Who in the end always have the option of shrugging their shoulders and walking away, leaving the taxpayer to find the solution. The solution is apparent now. We have to stop this or it will become more common, and our NHS will continue to fragment. The Reinstatement Bill has to become law, and quickly.”

[Ends]

 

Editor’s Note

The Campaign for the NHS Reinstatement Bill is a non-partisan campaign and has a wide range of support across the political spectrum. It encourages the public to contact prospective parliamentary candidates in their constituency, determine their views on the Reinstatement Bill, and gain their support for it wherever possible.

The Campaign’s press officer is Alan Taman
07870 757 309
[email protected]