The new NHS laws have many NHS workers and patients worried (including me!) about the direction of travel of the English NHS.
So it is time to write (again) to my MP asking him to support and defend a publicly provided NHS and not allow it be sold off to the highest bidder and fragmented into bite-sized privately owned chunks. This is so important in order to prevent care being fragmented and NHS money seeping away into the boardroom profits of the large City corporate companies.
Here is the letter I have sent and do feel free to copy and paste in order to send to your MP - it may need a little tweaking as I wrote it as a GP constituent of Mr Morris.
Time is of the essence and the letter needs to be sent before 23rd April.
Mr David Morris MP
MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale 15th April 2013
Dear Mr Morris,
NHS privatisation: National Health Service (Procurement. Patient Choice and Competition) (No 2) Regulations 2013, SI 500
I am writing to you to request that you put pressure on the Secretary of State for Health to have a debate on the floor of the House of Commons on the above Secondary Legislation. These regulations will make competitive tendering for NHS services virtually compulsory, which was not in either coalition partner’s manifesto, and it is profoundly undemocratic to introduce such radical changes in this way.
The House of Lords will be debating the above regulations on the 24th of April. I feel very strongly that our elected representatives should also debate these proposed ‘additional’ regulations.
As a GP I was informed via letter by Andrew Lansley in Feb 2012, when the Health & Social Care Bill was passing through the House of Commons, and House of Lords, that we were going to have the freedom to plan & provide services that were in the interest of their patients and would have the freedom to decide which services would be put out to tender to this end.
Patients were told that they would be involved in their health care, by ‘Nothing about me without me’ - this will not be the case if the above legislation goes through. Would you please sign Early Day Motion 1188?
I am concerned about the impact of these regulations upon the English NHS, including the way they contradict assurances given to parliamentarians, professionals and the public that local commissioners would be able to make their own decisions regarding local health care.
In particular I am concerned that the effect of the regulations will be to push Clinical Commissioning Groups to putting all services out to competition because of a fear that private companies will take legal action against them. This is because, even re-drafted, the regulations allow commissioners to avoid competition only where they feel there is only one provider able to provide the service. This will surely be difficult for CCGs to prove and they do not have the resources to pay for expensive legal advice or legal challenges.
I appeal to you as a member of the legislature to give this matter your attention and demand a debate and a vote on the floor of the House of Commons, to have these regulations withdrawn. We should not feel rushed into this given the importance of its implications.
Dr David Wrigley GP, Carnforth, Lancashire
Courtesy of Dr David Wrigley