Support the NHS Bill
I am concerned that over 25 years the NHS has been gradually undermined as a public service with laws brought in to allow more and more of it to be outsourced to private profit making companies.
This culminated in the Health and Social Care Act 2012. It broke up the national system for needs-based health care planning in England and replaced it with a competitive market model where groups of GPs in Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are obliged to put health services out to tender.
Now private companies bid against NHS providers, and increasingly win the contracts. This destabilises NHS provision and leads to a fragmented system which actually costs more to run than the previous public service system did.
Billions of pounds spent on these market ‘transaction costs’ are not available for front line care. This contributes to the NHS funding crisis: hospitals, mental health and community services find themselves in deficit with insufficient resources to provide the services we need.
It is of pressing urgency that the present costly, chaotic, fragmented and ineffective system be ended and replaced by one that will allocate resources according to need through a fair, democratically accountable and integrated planning system, removing the market and competition from the NHS.
We need our health services to be comprehensive, transparent, equitable and affordable. The only way all these goals can be attained is through full public ownership.
Such a change requires legislation to win back our NHS in England.
You may be aware that on 1 July 2015, 12 MPs from five political parties including Jeremy Corbyn and Caroline Lucas tabled the NHS Bill in the House of Commons. The NHS Bill is scheduled for its second reading on 11 March 2016.
The NHS Bill seeks to overturn all that has undermined the NHS and create a stronger, better NHS.
The NHS Bill will provide the legal framework to:
- Restore the NHS as an accountable public service
- Reverse 25 years of marketisation in the NHS
- Abolish the purchaser-provider split, end contracting and re-establish public bodies and public services accountable to local communities.
- Support integration of health with social care
- Remove the NHS from EU competition law
- Assert the control of the four UK legislatures over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) if it would affect the NHS in any part of the UK
- Restore the duty of Government to provide health services across England
I urge you to support the Bill and to ensure that it is granted time in the House of Commons for its second reading on March 11th.
I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.