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Labour Party puts forward new Bill to end NHS 'privatisation'

The Labour Party is putting forward a Bill this week which aims to remove the compulsion for NHS commissioners to put services out to competitive tender, it has announced.

The party said it will back a private member’s Bill from Clive Efford, the Labour MP for Eltham, which will repeal the ‘damaging’ competition rules that were ‘inflicted’ on the NHS via the Health and Social Care Act.

The Bill, which Mr Efford said he was putting forward to address his constituents’ concerns over NHS ‘privatisation’, will focus on repealing section 75 of the Act - which places oa duty on commissioners to put services out to tender unless they can prove their is only one potential provider - as well as the competition framework which established Monitor as a regulator of competition in the NHS.

The Labour Party said the Bill would ‘rewrite the rules that force market tendering of services and that are seeing millions of pounds wasted on competition lawyers that should instead be spent on patients’.

The Bill is due to be debated in the House of Commons in November, with Labour planning to lobby MPs from all parties for support between now and then by ‘highlighting examples of how the current rules are wasting money and fragmenting care’.

Labour’s shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said: ‘David Cameron’s biggest mistake by far is his decision to break the Coalition Agreement promise of “no top-down re-organisation of the NHS”. He is the prime minister who put the NHS up for sale without first seeking the permission of the British public.’

‘David Cameron’s re-organisation has left the NHS, in the words of its former chief executive, “bogged down in a morass of competition law”. If we leave things as they are, the NHS as we have known it for 66 years will not survive. This Bill will free the NHS from that morass and restore the right values to its heart: collaboration over competition; people before profits.’

Mr Efford said: ‘I am introducing this Bill because we need to save the NHS. When out and about meeting my constituents time and again they tell me how worried they are about the privatisation of our NHS.’

‘And of course my constituents are right to be worried because our NHS - the service which is there for us from when we enter the world to when we come to leave it is being shamelessly dismantled before our eyes. Quite simply private profits for the 1% are being put before an integrated health care system, safe clinical decisions and ultimately patients’ needs.’

‘That is why I am introducing my Bill to ensure how best to meet patients’ needs is once again placed at the forefront of our system, because without our health we have nothing.’

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  • Andy Burnham

Readers' comments (8)

  • Easy Political Gain - put forward a policy when you have no hope of getting it passed into law as you lack the polictical muscle and MPs to get it through.

    Make a lot of noise of the good you tried to do.

    Hope to get voted into power.

    If by some miracle you do get in - forget all about getting the bill re-entered and voted through as now those Private companies are sticking their money into Labour re-election funds.

    NHS gets short changed again.

    Don't ever forget it was Labour and Blair who let the Private companies into Primary care in the first place, and got the ball rolling on all this tendering out nonsense.

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  • Yet again more scaremongering that the 'nasty private sector' are bringing about the end of the world! Lets remember the NHS is not an organisation to be dismantled made up of. It is a government funded national health service. As long as the care being delivered is the highest quality who cares who delivers it! As the old saying goes do what you've always done get what you've always got! After all GPs are independent contractors who take a salary from their business and keep the profits too!!

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  • It matters who is delivering care when there are shareholders behind the service demanding a large chunk of money. Private healthcare doesn't work in other countries, why would it work here?

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  • I also agree that Labour is putting forward this bill to win votes and it will not go anywhere. It seems as though Pandora's Box has already been opened and the NHS is not going to be able to go back to how it was.
    Granted, the NHS is in need of change... but privatising the service is not the way to do it.

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  • Why so much talk about privatisation. GPS/GP practices are private contractors at a small scale compared to big private providers e.g Virgin or care uk.
    Secondly GPs working with private companies are UK trained, some are even GP partners who do weekend locum jobs.

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  • What about EU Tendering legislation , we were told Trusts had go out to competitive Tender.

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  • Does Labour party know that NHS services have always been contracted to private contractors.
    GPs have since the nationalization of health service always been Private contractors to provide NHS services
    I do not see any reason why more services could not be contracted out of NHS .

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  • I guess there will be no NHS pension either for GPs working for private companies. I know I couldn't claim pension when I worked out of hours in Hampshire because now run by private company. Similar for agencies. This must be a big motivation for the government to privatize. I guess eventually there could be no NHS pension at all if everything contracted out.

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