Dear Reader

If you happened to have taken a peek at an earlier post you may have been moved to think that

a. Section 75 is already lost
b. it doesn’t really matter anyway

However, I would urge you to pay good attention to Lord Phil Hunt in this regard. As Shadow Health Lead in the Lords he has taken the initiative to request and obtain the vital Pray Debate which takes place on Wednesday 24th. IF WON, THIS VOTE CANNOT BE OVERTURNED BY THE COMMONS.

SECTION 75 RALLY, 26th MARCH

Section 75 Rally - 7th March 2013.  Committee Rm 11

Far from being an ‘it will make little difference’ measure – the entire reason for having this debate is to rescue the NHS from potentially irreversible fragmentation and privatisation.

If these Section 75 measures are not halted, Clinical Commissioning Groups will be forced into a situation where in order to avoid potential litigation by discontented private providers, they open up every area to tender. The wording is clear – if they are not able to prove that selecting a sole provider without tender has been done because there is absolutely no alternative, then they will be open to prosecution. You will recall this has already occurred with respect to legal challenges instigated in the Cambridge pilot area last year. Therefore to prevent the full force of EU Competition Law as relating to the external market being deployed by the likes of Virgin, Circle, Humana et al CCGs will comply with the strategy of least risk.

As a result, hospitals will find a reduction in income levels ( remember the money now goes with the patient ) threatening sustainability and patients will find that their care is fragmented, sometimes dangerously so.

As an example, a patient with both diabetes and terminal cancer (who has given me permission to speak about his circumstances) whose care is entirely organised through his local hospital is almost certain that his GP will be forced to divvy out his care package to a range of different practitioners who are unlikely to be familiar to each other. As a very sick person, who finds it difficult to leave home, the prospect of having to deal with both new and varied medical practitioners fills him with dread.

If this is not halted, providers of similar specialities will be focused more on competition than on healing and providers of different specialities will be concerned that other providers may try to steal a march by expanding into their own territory. Thus we will have medical service providers operating from a perspective of protectionism and profit rather than patient care and cure.

Please do not just shrug your shoulders and walk away – if you have not already done so, email as many Cross Bench and Lib Dems Lords as you can before it’s too late…

This is a useful link to help you to do it FAST.

Also if you want a letter for speedy use with key points as made by Lord Hunt in Committee Room 11 on 26th March

Dear Lord/Baroness

The Government would have us believe that they have changed the Section 75 Secondary Regulations, yet the danger remains intact.

Clinical Commissioning Groups must not be sidelined into spending time and funds which should be devoted to patients in fighting costly legal battles to defend their commissioning decisions.

Patients should be able to trust their GP to act in our best interests and not as a result of pressure from private providers and their expensive lawyers. 

The NHS scored as the second best health service provider in the world – now this legislation seriously threatens the whole service in England.

 Our hospitals will start to fail because where the patient goes the money follows.

Private providers are unaccountable and will let patients down whilst also increasing prices – which is very poor value for the patient and for the state.

Private providers will win contracts by bidding low but then put up their prices afterwards and under the Health & Social Care Act, private providers are not accountable and can let patients down without any come-back

 In the worst case scenario, private providers may start asking for top-up fees from the patient – taking our healthcare back to the dark ages before the NHS

Please do not let the healthcare of the people of England be damaged in this way. There is still time to stop it.

Please vote to safeguard our NHS budget for the benefit of patients and oppose the Section 75 Secondary Legislation in Lord Hunt’s Pray Debate on April 24th

Yours sincerely

 

Meanwhile a little background reading you may like to refer to 

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2 Comments

  1. Very sensible .I shall be lobbyng the Lords on Wednesday.
    Our health service is one of the cheapest in the world pecisely because it has kept private companies at bay and has been publically provided.
    With the introduction of the market in 1990 bureacracy has increased and effeciency has declined.
    As socialists we know that competition is no solution and that cooperation is far better,
    otherwise why call ourselves socialists.

  2. Shibley says:

    Thanks very much Jos for posting this. Totally agree.

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