Please support the NHS Reinstatement Bill 2nd reading on 4th November

MPs – please support the NHS Reinstatement Bill 2nd reading on 4th November

The 2016 NHS Reinstatement Bill is up for its second reading in the House of Commons on Friday November 4th, as a 10 Minute Rule Bill.

Please ask your MP to support the Bill. It is unlikely to get a  debate, because it is fourth on the list of Bills scheduled for debate. But support for the Bill is still important. It’s a statement of principle and an important rallying point for Parliamentary opposition to the rapid destruction of the NHS that the government is engineering through the so-called Sustainability and Transformation Plans.

Template email and MPs contact details

You can find your MP’s contact details here. When you email them, please remember to add your postal address since MPs won’t take any notice unless you show that they are your MP.

Even if your MP is a Tory it’s worth emailing them, since a survey has shown that 77% of Tory voters want a publicly owned,run and funded NHS – which is what the NHS  Bill restores.
There is a downloadable template email here.

 

Margaret Greenwood MP is presenting the Bill, with support from Caroline Lucas MP

In March this year,  there was hardly any Labour support for the Bill when Caroline Lucas MP presented it as a cross-party Private Members Bill – even though Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell had signed it.

This time, the Bill is presented by Labour MP Margaret Greenwood, with Caroline Lucas’s support; and when Diane Abbott was briefly the Shadow Health Secretary, she gave it full support. So there is no reason this time for Labour MPs to refuse to support it – as many did in March when their constituents asked them to attend the debate and vote for the Bill.

New collective bargaining requirement for national terms and conditions, that includes whistleblowing protection

This version of the NHS Bill Part 3, Terms and Conditions, has been strengthened by the addition of “National” to “Terms and Conditions”, and by a whole new section (20) in Part 3 that spells out the requirement for collective bargaining when terms and conditions of NHS employment are set.

The section on collective bargaining includes welcome, much-needed protection on whistleblowing – the lack of this in Hunt’s Junior Doctors’ contract is a major problem for the adoption of the contract. There is currently a crowd-funded legal case in motion about the need for whistleblowing protection in the NHS, driven by the case of Dr Chris Day, a junior doctor who lost his job on the say-so of Health Education England, after he raised the alarm about staffing issues on his Intensive Care Unit.

There is a change to Schedule 2 on the establishment of Health Boards. Section 3 adds “such other bodies as the Secretary of State considers are concerned with the order” to the list of bodies that the Sec of State has a duty to consult about establishing Health Boards.

It looks as if this could strengthen the involvement of public and patient groups. It was a criticism of the previous version of the Bill that it did not provide for sufficient public and patient involvement in restoring the NHS to full public ownership and management.

There is a minor change in the new version of Schedule 3, on the functions of NHS England and Health Boards. It  omits their task of “making available (on such terms as to charges thought fit) supplies of human blood” and replaces that with  “supply of goods, services and other facilities…”

It looks as if this change means that “making available…supplies of human blood” is simply included in “supply of goods, services and other facilities…”

Restoring the NHS and ending and reversing marketisation and privatisation

Apart from those changes to part 3 and Schedule 3, the Bill is the same as previous versions of the Bill that Caroline Lucas MP presented as a Private Members’ Bill in March 2015 and March 2016.

It restores the Secretary of State’s legal duty to provide a comprehensive NHS that is free at the point of use and based on patients’ clinical needs.

And it removes the NHS from the market and removes the market from the NHS.

It abolishes ALL the NHS institutions set up to create, administer and operate NHS marketisation and privatisation, including the NHS Commissioning Board aka NHS England, Clinical Commissioning Groups and NHS Foundation Trusts and Trusts.

It replaces the commissioning organisations with Special Health Authorities “to be known as the National Health Service England Authority, with Regional Committees” that are called Health Boards.

Their job is to exercise the Sec of State’s duty to provide or secure effective provision of services or facilities that include:

  • hospitals
  • medical, dental, nursing, ambulance and mental health services;
  • facilities for the care of expectant and nursing mothers and young children;
    facilities for the prevention of illness and the aftercare of persons who have suffered from illness;
  • such other services as are required for the diagnosis and treatment of illness;
    other services referred to in Schedule 1
  • additional functions set out in Schedule 3

Working jointly with the local authority or authorities for their area, they also have public health duties and a duty to prepare  “an integration scheme for the purposes of integrating the provision of health services and of social care services, and of more closely integrating health-related services”

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