The Bill

On 13th July 2016, the NHS Reinstatement Bill was successfully presented in the House of Commons, by Margaret Greenwood, Labour MP for Wirral West.

The full text of the Bill – called the National Health Service Bill – was published on 28th October 2016.

Peter Roderick, co-author of the original NHS Reinstatement Bill, has produced explanatory notes to aid understanding of the NHS Bill.

A second reading is now scheduled for Friday 24th February 2017 (postponed from November 2016 when parliament ran out of time for debate).

Brief summary of the NHS Bill

In short, the Bill proposes to fully restore the NHS as an accountable public service by reversing 25 years of marketization in the NHS, by abolishing the purchaser-provider split, ending contracting and re-establishing public bodies and public services accountable to local communities.

This is necessary to stop the dismantling of the NHS under the Health and Social Care Act 2012. It is driven by the needs of local communities. Scotland and Wales have already reversed marketization and restored their NHS without massive upheaval. England can too.

The Bill gives flexibility in how it would be implemented, led by local authorities and current bodies.

It would:

  • reinstate the government’s duty to provide the key NHS services throughout England, including hospitals, medical and nursing services, primary care, mental health and community services,
  • integrate health and social care services,
  • declare the NHS to be a “non-economic service of general interest” and “a service supplied in the exercise of governmental authority” so asserting the full competence of Parliament and the devolved bodies to legislate for the NHS without being trumped by EU competition law and the World Trade Organization’s General Agreement on Trade in Services,
  • abolish the NHS Commissioning Board (NHS England) and re-establish it as a Special Health Authority with regional committees,
  • plan and provide services without contracts through Health Boards, which could cover more than one local authority area if there was local support,
  • allow local authorities to lead a ‘bottom up’ process with the assistance of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), NHS trusts, NHS foundation trusts and NHS England to transfer functions to Health Boards,
  • abolish NHS trusts, NHS foundation trusts and CCGs after the transfer by 1st January 2018,
  • abolish Monitor – the regulator of NHS foundation trusts, commercial companies and voluntary organisations – and repeal the competition and core marketization provisions of the 2012 Act,
  • integrate public health services, and the duty to reduce inequalities, into the NHS,
  • re-establish Community Health Councils to represent the interest of the public in the NHS,
  • stop licence conditions taking effect which have been imposed by Monitor on NHS foundation trusts and that will have the effect of reducing by April 2016 the number of services that they currently have to provide,
  • require national terms and conditions under the NHS Staff Council and Agenda for Change system for relevant NHS staff,
  • centralise NHS debts under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) in the Treasury, require publication of PFI contracts and also require the Treasury to report to Parliament on reducing NHS PFI debts,
  • abolish the legal provisions passed in 2014 requiring certain immigrants to pay for NHS services
  • declare the UK’s agreement to the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and other international treaties affecting the NHS to require the prior approval of Parliament and the devolved legislatures,
  • require the government to report annually to Parliament on the effect of treaties on the NHS.

 

The NHS Bill in Parliament

Parliamentary session 2016-2017

Name: National Health Service Bill
Sponsor: Margaret Greenwood (Labour)
Type of Bill: Private Members’ Bill (under the Ten Minute Rule)
This Bill was introduced to Parliament on Wednesday 13 July 2016. The second reading is scheduled for 4 November 2016.

 

Parliamentary session 2015-2016

Name: National Health Service Bill
Sponsor: Caroline Lucas (Green)
Type of Bill: Private Members’ Bill (Presentation Bill)
This Bill was presented to Parliament on 1 July 2015. The second reading debate on 11 March 2016 was adjourned.

 

Parliamentary session 2014-2015

Name: National Health Service Bill
Sponsor: Caroline Lucas (Green)
Type of Bill: Private Members’ Bill (Presentation Bill)
This Bill was presented to Parliament on 11 March 2015. This was the first reading and there was no debate. The Parliamentary session ended shorlty afterwards for the May 2015 General Election and so the Bill did not proceed further.

Parliamentary session 2013-2014

Name: National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill
Sponsor: Lord Owen
Type of Bill: Private Members’ Bill (Starting in the House of Lords)
The first reading took place on 16 May 2013. The Bill progressed no further.

Parliamentary information

Parliamentary session 2012-2013

Name: National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill
Sponsor: Lord Owen
Type of Bill: Private Members’ Bill (Starting in the House of Lords)
The first reading took place on 28 January 2013. The Bill progressed no further.

 

Read more about the story of the NHS Reinstatement Bill