Save Our NHS does not endorse any political Party but we do encourage our locally and nationally elected representatives to stand up and be counted when it comes to the NHS.
Courtesy of the NHS Federation we present Green MP Caroline Lucas‘ Bill to protect NHS services from Private Profiteers and the Tories agenda to, “end the NHS” as stated by their policy chief Oliver Letwin.
NHS Reinstatement Bill is presented to Parliament – Allyson Pollock
Caroline Lucas, the Green Party MP, will today present a cross-party NHS Reinstatement Bill in Parliament, with backing from Lib Dem, SNP, Plaid Cymru, and Labour MPs, including Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn. The Bill seeks to reinstate the NHS based on its founding principles and reverse the creeping marketisation of the health service. The Bill, drafted by Peter Roderick of the Global Public Health Unit at Queen Mary University of London, was last week backed by the British Medical Association. It reinstates the Secretary of State’s responsibility for the provision of services, severed by the Health and Social Care Act 2012. It would strip away the costly market mechanisms that leach money out from the NHS and abolish bodies such as NHS trusts, NHS foundation trusts, and clinical commissioning groups. See more on the background to the Bill.
Please write to your MP and ask them specifically whether or not they support Caroline’s Bill.
North Hull. Diana Johnson: email@example.com
East Hull. Karl Turner: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hessle and West Hull: email@example.com
Haltemprice and Howden. David Davis: firstname.lastname@example.org
Beverley and Holderness. Graham Stuart: email@example.com
Brigg and Goole. Andrew Percy: firstname.lastname@example.org
East Yorkshire. Greg Knight via his office manager: email@example.com
Shocking results are emerging from the government’s attempts to use the market to organise patient care. Services are going out to tender despite the damaging consequences for the NHS, its patients and its staff. Today, Caroline Lucas MP is presenting a Bill in Parliament which seeks to repeal the market driven changes (more below) – a first step in the post-election campaign to stop the outsourcing of more NHS services.
Who would disagree with involving clinicians in organising healthcare?
Research says that people support this, but the reality of the coalition’s 2012 NHS changes is that the GPs leading CCGs are being forced to plan care through the market, often creating waste, more pressure on the NHS and worse care for patients. Here’s three examples.
1. Nottingham dermatology privatisation ‘unmitigated disaster’
The privatisation of a renowned dermatology centre has led to its near-collapse, concluded a report on the outsourcing of the NHS service in Nottingham. Local NHS doctors refused to work for Circle, the private company involved, so they recruited less experienced staff at greater cost. Standards were not high enough to treat complex patients who were forced to travel out of the area. The pediatric dermatology service, which is one of the few centres outside London, remains “on a knife-edge” because of the staffing problems.
2. Future of trauma services threatened by outsourcing
In Bedford, Circle took over all musculoskeletal services, leaving Bedford NHS hospitals with 30% less patients and threatening the sustainability of other departments. “The significant reduction in referrals since April, and associated potential loss of income… mean a direct impact on the viability of the trauma service which in turn will undermine the ability of A&E to see and admit trauma patients.” concluded the hospital Board.
3. Alliance of public and NHS staff stop local privatisation
After BUPA beat the NHS to a £235m contract to run all MSK services on the South Coast, there was widespread concern from NHS staff. Local doctors warned that they would not be able to provide trauma services to the most serious of cases and that financially the local hospital in Worthing would suffer. The public joined in, holding meetings and lobbying the local CCGs and politicians. A report was commissioned which agreed that the impact on the hospital would be severe. FinallyBUPA dropped out of the contract and the CCG reconsidered is plans.
Why this threatens the NHS
What links these examples is the government’s insistence that CCCs must give the private sector a chance to bid for NHS work. At a time of great financial pressure this makes little sense. It creates greater instability and raises the financial pressure on our hospitals. A market approach doesn’t fit with our national health service. Sick patients often have complex needs with an uncertain outcome and our hospitals seek to treat all who come through its doors. To achieve this they need the money they get from treating more straightforward cases to fund those that are more complex. Staff training also relies on this mix.
The NHS cannot afford to lose this ‘bread and butter’ work to profit-seeking private companies. As we have seen Circle and other private companies have withdrawn from providing a service if there is insufficient profit. There have been concerns over the quality of care too. Patients need sustainable services that will be there when they need them. In planning for the needs of patients we must first support and develop our NHS services. As NHS supporters we must get involved or far more NHS services will be put out to tender.