This site now acts as an archive only. For the latest news, opinion, blogs and listings on disability arts and culture visit disabilityarts.online.

Disability Arts Online

No future for the NHS?! / 2 September 2011

Recent legal advice given to 38 Degrees, the 'Save our NHS' campaign group, makes sobering reading. It states that the government’s changes to the NHS plans could pave the way for a shift towards a US-style health system, where private companies profit at the expense of patient care and those without money go untreated.

Barrister Rebecca Haynes found that the government's plans could pave the way for private healthcare companies and their lawyers to benefit most from changes, not patients. Another barrister, Stephen Cragg, found that we were right to be worried that Andrew Lansley was planning to remove his duty to provide our NHS.

Conservative MPs are being told by their bosses these changes fit with party ideology. But many would be horrified to know that the NHS would be subject to European competition laws and front-line services could be held up with procurement red tape. 38 Degrees are urging people to lobby these MPs who are due to vote on massive changes to our NHS in a few days time.

They state that if enough people email now, it could tip the balance. To find out how to do this, click on this link.

38 Degrees' independent lawyers have identified two major problems in the new legislation: 

  1. The Secretary of State’s legal duty to provide a health service will be scrapped. On top of that, a new “hands-off clause” removes the government's powers to oversee local consortia and guarantee the level of service wherever we live. We can expect increases in postcode lotteries – and less ways to hold the government to account if the service deteriorates.
  2. The NHS will almost certainly be subject to UK and EU competition law and the reach of procurement law rules will extend across all NHS commissioners. Private health companies will be able to take new NHS commissioning groups to court if they don’t win contracts. Scarce public money could be tied up in legal wrangles instead of hospital beds. Meanwhile, the legislation lifts the cap on NHS hospitals filling beds with private patients.

So who are MPs going to listen to when casting their vote – you, or lobbyists from private health companies? This is our NHS, and it’s up to us to defend it. Email your MP now by clicking on this link.

 

Keywords: cuts to services,disabled peoples movement,disabled peoples protest,nhs changes,politics

Comments

Arty Farty

/
14 September 2011

Have signed up for and have sent the 38 degrees email (along with Isha's suggested amendments) Thanks Isha

Crippen

/
14 September 2011

Thanks for that Isha :-)

Isha

/
13 September 2011

My MP is Labour, and is sure to vote against, but still I sent her the 30 degrees email. The wording isn't the greatest, so I altered the text slightly. Here's the text in case anyone would like to copy it for their 38 degrees letter. It's only suitable for MPs who are neither Conservative nor LibDem:

"I'm very concerned about the plans for the NHS. The legal experts commissioned by 38 Degrees to look into the consequences of the changes raise several very worrying issues. For example, extending the role of EU competition law in the NHS, and reducing the government's ability to intervene to tackle postcode lotteries.

"Please read the full opinions here: http://www.38degrees.org.uk/page/content/NHS-legal-advice/

"You will see there that one of the key issues in the legal opinions is that the Secretary of State’s duty to provide a National Health Service is removed, which effectively washes the Government’s hands of responsibility for provision.

"Our NHS isn’t perfect, but any changes need to done carefully. Please assure me you will do all you can to address the concerns raised by these legal experts, and that if the concerns can't be addressed that you will vote against the bill next week."