To: Members of Parliament and of the House of Lords
Why is this important?
These regulations - which will only go to a vote if parliament insists - would require virtually all health provision to be carried out in competitive markets, regardless of the wishes of either local people, GPs or local Clinical Commissioning Groups. They contradict assurances that were given by health ministers during the passage of the Act that it did not mean the privatisation of the NHS, and that local people would have the final say in who provided their NHS. For example, Lord Howe said then Clinicians will be free to commission services in the way they consider best. We intend to make it clear that commissioners will have a full range of options and that they will be under no legal obligation to create new markets... This will be made absolutely clear through secondary legislation and supporting guidance as a result of the Bill. Andrew Lansley said (in a letter to the Clinical Commissioning Groups set up to manage most health budgets) that It is a fundamental principle of the Bill that you as commissioners, not the Secretary of State and not regulators should decide when and how competition should be used to serve your patients interests.. We call on parliament to take all necessary steps to ensure these regulations, which would be incredibly damaging to the NHS, do not become law. For more information see this report: http://www.opendemocracy.net/ournhs/nicola-cutcher-lucy-reynolds/nhs-as-we-know-it-needs-prayer