Monday, 29 April 2013

The Lords have done it again

Wednesday 24th April 2013 will go down as a very black day for the English NHS. You would have thought the NHS needed some TLC in its 65th year but instead it has been dealt a severe blow by our politicians.

Last week the Lords debated further legislation that will in effect put many more services out to tender - and we know when tendering occurs it isn't a level playing field. The large corporate companies are circling like vultures over the NHS - looking for the tastiest morsels to feed on. These companies have buildings full of lawyers, accountants, PR specialists and managers ready to put bids together for contracts that will deliver a tasty profit to their shareholders.

What chance have the small charities or not for profit organisations got against these big boys of the City? None at all.

The Lords had an opportunity to ensure that local clinicians could choose who was best to provide local services rather than be forced to put services out to the market. Local clinicians are more likely to go to the market in order to avoid costly legal disputes which they can't afford on their meagre budgets.

The voting figures can be found HERE and the Liberal Democrats were placed under a three line whip by the LibDem leadership to vote with their Conservative colleagues to ensure the law was passed. It is also worth noting that many members of the House of Lords have declared that they have financial interests in many private healthcare companies - so voting through this legislation was in their wallets best interest too.

This is just the beginning and many campaigners are girding their loins to continue to fight for an NHS that is publicly funded, publicly owned and is publicly accountable. Nothing less than this will do to ensure we protect Aneurin Bevan's legacy.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Lobbying MP over new NHS rules

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.

CLICK HERE for the letter.


Tuesday, 9 April 2013

The Role of the Royal Colleges

During the Health Bill's troubled journey through Parliament the Medical Royal Colleges played a vital role in lobbying political decision makers. They are trusted friends of Government and seen as apolitical sounding boards. Ministers and Peers often speak to the College Presidents and ask their views on whether policies are 'on track' or able to be pushed through.

This is why their role is vital when changes to the NHS are proposed by politicians.

We are currently seeing vital legislation proposed in Parliament that will force competitive tendering onto newly formed CCGs. Lobbying of MPs and Lords in the next 2 weeks is of huge importance to try and derail these changes. Many NHS workers do not wish to see large corporate companies take over NHS services in order to maximise their profits and boost their share prices.

I have decided to set up my 'Call on the College' website to ask ordinary Medical College members to lobby their College. I will collate the names and forward them on in the next 10 days in order for the College hierarchy to understand that their members do not wish to have competitive tendering forced onto their local NHS services.

It is vital Medical Royal College listen to their members and speak out to defend NHS services. The NHS is heading rapidly towards being parcelled up and sold off to the highest bidder. We must do all we can to stop it.