NHS Bill MP Letter

 

Dear

 

The NHS Reinstatement Bill is scheduled for its second reading on 24th February 2017.  I urge you to ensure it is granted time for debate in the House of Commons, and to support this Bill – which has cross party support.

 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
  • End contracting out of services, which destabilises and fragments the NHS; enabling billions of pounds currently spent on “transaction costs” to be re-directed to frontline services
  • Support integration of health with social care
  • Remove the NHS from EU competition law
  • Restore the duty of government to provide health services across England

The present costly, chaotic, fragmented and ineffective system urgently needs to be 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. The Government’s current Sustainability and Transformation Plans will only perpetuate the market system.  We need our services to be comprehensive, transparent, equitable and affordable.  The only way all these goals can be attained is through full public ownership of our NHS.  Such a change requires legislation to win back our NHS in England.  Please support the bill.

I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible

Yours

 

 

Why do we need an NHS Reinstatement bill?

The NHS has been undermined as a public service over the last 25 years with increased outsourcing of services to private companies. From the privatisation of cleaning in hospitals which led to a rise in hospital super-bugs (MRSA); to the setting up of an expensive system of buying and selling services within the NHS (purchaser/ provider split); through costly PFI mortgages on new NHS buildings; through the expensively-run privatised social care of our elderly and more vulnerable adults; closures and transfers, many hospitals in Gloucestershire reducing beds by 100s; NHS money going on new private facilities instead of put in to the current ones; NHS trusts being run by private companies; the fully marketised structure introduced by the 2012 Act; the reduction of our A&E services and the privatisation of many services locally and nationally.

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 broke up the national system for needs-based health care planning in England, replacing it with a market model, which is destabilising and fragmenting NHS provision, AND which costs more to run than the public system.  The NHS Reinstatement bill has cross-party support. It will restore the NHS as an accountable public service, where taxpayer’s money goes to care not profit.

Can we afford the National Health Service?

According to the national press, NHS trusts are running a deficit of anything up to £3 billion.  Apparently, drastic action must be undertaken or services will break down as hospitals become bankrupt.  In spite of this, the NHS is being made to find savings of £22 billion.  Yet an analysis of the Department of Health’s latest Annual Report and Accounts by Health Care Audit, a group of finance and business consultants, show that the DoH does have adequate money to cover the deficit. They simply choose not to.  Only one side of the finance story is being printed in our national papers.

Yes to

  • Public ownership of NHS assets
  • Comprehensive care from high quality staff
  • Enough Doctors and Nurses to keep our hospitals open and safe
  • Legally protected from dodgy deals like TTIP
  • An NHS that’s for everyone without discrimination –its founding vision
  • Health Secretary has the duty to provide a  comprehensive, secure NHS

No to

  • Private companies cherry picking easy operations, quick procedures, easy cash
  • Competing NHS trusts, fighting off bids from private companies like Virgin
  • Longer waiting times; more bed closures, rationing of operations & aids
  • Dangerously underfunded emergency & maternity services
  • Expanding insurance based care

Why is this important?

The NHS in England is being dismantled. NHS services – including acute and emergency, children’s, elderly, and maternity care – have been deliberately underfunded since 2010. The comprehensive care we’ve come to expect continues to be cut back.

Many services have been handed to private companies such as Virgin, Serco, and US giant United Health, hiding behind the NHS logo. Valuable NHS buildings and land are being sold off to property developers, often as a result of the exorbitant costs of paying for new hospitals built under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI).

These are our services and our assets. We the public own them. And polls repeatedly show that most of us want to keep our NHS.

Privatised services cost the NHS and tax payer far more than when provided by our publicly owned and publicly run NHS.

That is because public health systems don’t seek profits. They don’t need to pay dividends to shareholders. They don’t have the added costs of private sector loans. And they don’t have to pay the management fees that private companies charge.

A public NHS also doesn’t have privatisation’s heavy marketing and contract administration costs of extra lawyers, accountants and management – at least £4.5 billion annually on one estimate and rising. Just cutting them, not NHS services, would go a long way to cover the shortfall between government underfunding and the NHS’ needs over the next five years.

These huge commercial costs and the chaos caused by the ongoing NHS fragmentation are the direct result of privatisation. This is endangering the quality and safety of our public healthcare.

That is why we need the National Health Service Bill to remove the costs and waste of privatisation. The NHS Bill will reinstate the NHS as a proper public service

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