Call for legislation to be stopped in House of Lords
The National Pensioners’ Convention is urging politicians to stop the government’s controversial new NHS Health and Care Bill from becoming law.
Whilst we applaud and very much appreciate the opposition raised to this Bill in the House of Commons on 14th July, clearly a lot of MPs have yet to see the dangers and consequences of it being passed into legislation.
The NPC is urging its worried membership to write to their MPs asking that they oppose the new Bill, which they fear will undermine the NHS and put more of the service in the hands of the private sector.
The organisation also anticipates strong opposition to the Bill from the House of Lords when it goes before them in the autumn - particularly after Dame Joan Bakewell’s recent stirring speech in defence of the NHS. The NPC thanks Dame Joan for making a stand, and of course, Lord George Foulkes who consistently supports the rights of older people.
NPC General Secretary Jan Shortt said: “Politicians do need to listen to their constituents and understand that this Bill will undermine public control and provision of the NHS as a national health service, aiming to provide comprehensive, universal treatment and care in response to need, free at the point of use.
“The government is still claiming their response to Covid has been a success, built on full co-operation with the private sector - a lesson they now wish to apply to the NHS as a whole. Yet we know the private sector response to the pandemic was frequently shambolic and over-priced with millions of pounds of public money wasted on equipment and projects that were not fit for purpose.”
“This Bill does nothing to solve the crises in funding, staffing shortages, mental health and social care services, crumbling estate and other major problems facing the NHS. Instead, it enables increased involvement of the private sector.”
We have a template letter for distribution to all our 1.5million members, which they can send to their local MPs. It highlights 12 key reasons why politicians must oppose this bill, which makes it easier for private sector firms (including US equity firms) to win lucrative health service contracts unchallenged; weakens the public accountability of providers; and opens the door to cuts in the free NHS services we currently take for granted.
Jan Shortt commented: “The House of Lords will, we hope, take the opportunity to make amendments that are in the public interest rather than encouraging private businesses through the back door.
*The full draft of the template letters – including the 12 bullet points - for NPC members to send to their MPs is downloadable below.
Download the press release
Download the letter template