Please ask your MP to support the cross party NHS Bill before 12 May

NHS Bill Letter or email to your MP

Please ask your MP to support the cross-party NHS Bill. This Private Members Bill is scheduled to be presented for its postponed second reading  in the House of Commons on Friday 12 May by Margaret Greenwood MP, under the Ten Minute Rule. However it is 22nd on the list of Bills to be presented to the House of Commons that day, so will not get its second reading and will have to be postponed again.

So there’s no point asking MPs to attend the second reading and vote for the Bill. Instead, please ask them to add their name to the list of supporters and take a photo of themselves saying so. The ‘I support the NHS Bill’ posters are available online here, or Margaret Greenwood has several in her office and is very happy for any MP to come and have their photo taken. MPs can let her know if they want to add their names to the list of supporters of the NHS Bill

So far, no Calderdale or Kirklees MPs support the Bill. (Here’s a list of MPs who do.)

Here is a letter for you to send or modify as you see fit, for your own MP. You can find your MP’s contact details here.  If you can, send a letter by post, rather than an email.  That way, they have to reply to you.

You can download it here as a .doc file. so you can easily change it as you see fit.


Calderdale, Kirklees, Dewsbury and Barnsley people have been fighting for years now to keep both Halifax and Huddersfield A&Es open.

The threatened closure of Huddersfield A&E  is part of a wave of hospital service cuts that are damaging patient care and NHS staff wellbeing to the point where the Red Cross has identified a humanitarian crisis in the NHS.

The Clinical Commissioning Groups have ignored the overwhelming public rejection of the proposals in last year’s “consultation”, and now Calderdale and Huddersfield hospitals Trust are working on the Full Business Case.

Already Dewsbury District Hospital has lost many beds and services. Its A&E has been downgraded to an urgent care centre, even though, before this was carried out, Pinderfields was already  overcrowded with many ambulance diverts from its A&E and 568 handover times of 60 minutes or more between December 2014 and December 2015.

A recent BMA article reiterates that there is no evidence that this zombie policy of cutting hospital beds and services and replacing them by care in the community works.  It is well past time to stop cutting our hospital beds and trying to turn the NHS into a version of US Medicare complete with American health companies.

To help protect the NHS from the pressures that are behind the proposed destruction of the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary District General Hospital and its A&E (and related hospital service cuts), please support the cross-party Private Members’ NHS Bill that is scheduled for its postponed second reading on 12th May.

Unfortunately it is 22nd on the list of Bills to be presented to the House of Commons that day, so will not get its second reading and will have to be postponed again.

As there’s no point asking you to attend the second reading and vote for the Bill,  instead please will you add your name to the list of supporters and take a photo of yourself saying so? The ‘I support the NHS Bill’ posters are available online here, or Margaret Greenwood has several in her office and is very happy for any MP to come and have their photo taken. You can let her know if you want to add your name to the list of supporters of the NHS Bill

The Bill’s principle of restoring the NHS as a publicly funded, owned and run service is supported by 84% of the public, as shown by a 2013 YouGov survey.

This would save at least £4.5bn/year. This is a conservative estimate of the amount of NHS money that’s  currently wasted on tendering and contracting NHS services, and on contract monitoring & management.

Stopping and reversing NHS marketisation and privatisation would mean this money would go back into patient care. The amount is enough to fill the projected £22bn NHS funding shortfall by 2020/1. This projected shortage of money is what’s driving the cuts to our hospital services – including Huddersfield A&E.

In its mission to cut costs, NHS England is importing “new care models” and working practices based on those used by  the American health care company, United Health – the previous employer of NHS England’s Chief Executive.

These “care models” are designed to reduce patient care and increase corporate profit. They will be delivered through Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships set up as Accountable Care Systems or Organisations – despite the fact that there is no basis in existing NHS legislation and regulations to permit this.

Clinical Commissioning Groups have rushed to commission these care models through huge privatised community care contracts.  In a dangerous precedent, Virgin Care successfully sued Hull Clinical Commissioning Group for not allowing private companies to bid for contracts for 8 GP practices, forcing it to put them out to competitive tender.

Virgin Care Services Ltd’s latest legal proceedings in the High Court is against NHS England, Surrey County Council and the county’s six clinical commissioning groups, after losing out on a 3 year £82 million children’s community services contract, which was awarded to Surrey Healthy Children and Families Services Limited Liability Partnership.

Last autumn,  in the face of bitter public opposition, Bath & North East Somerset Council awarded  Virgin Care a seven year, £700m community health and care services contract – the largest deal the company has ever won from a single authority and the first time that a for-profit company will be deliver a council’s social care for adults and be in charge of out-of-hospital community health and care services.

An example of so-called integrated commissioning, the plans were also approved by Board of Bath and North East Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group.
NHS England’s “Next Steps in the 5 Year Forward View” spins this “integration” as putting the NHS and social care under a united structure that pools finances and ends the purchaser/provider split and expensive competitive tendering of services.

The STPs will in NO WAY end destructive and expensive competition and tendering of services. They are designed to open up the NHS to further, huge privatisation – as shown by the Accountable Care Organisation-type contract currently put out to competitive tender by 3 Greater Manchester Clinical Commissioning Groups plus Manchester City Council. These organisations are making a “joint procurement” for a £6bn 10 year contract for a “Local Care Organisation for the City of Manchester”.

There’s no evidence that these footprint-wide Accountable Care Organisationss are going to work – early adopters have already gone belly up. The Torbay and South Devon Integrated Care Organisation was set up in October 2015 following participation in the NHS Kaiser Beacon programme  in order to pool health and social care budgets and run the services from under one roof – effectively the MultiSpeciality Community Provider model that is a common feature of Sustainability and Transformation Plans.

But Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust recently told the two councils involved in the Integrated Care Organisation that it is withdrawing from a ‘risk-sharing’ agreement, which splits liabilities for unexpected costs. Torbay Council papers indicate that the Integrated Care Organisation has overspent by £12m in its first year, sparking fears that the organisation presents a ‘substantial financial risk’ to the local authority. With financial strife in the Integrated Care Organisation, councillors have called for ‘a different dialogue’ with the Government.

Northumbria Healthcare was intended to hold a single contract for acute, mental health and community services, and adult social care. Due to go live on 1st April 2017, after operating in shadow form,   its launch has now been delayed indefinitely because Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group – the primary commissioner for the Northumbria accountable care organisation- is broke.
NHS England has tried to get them to cover up CCG’s dire £41m projected deficit, as minutes of the Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group’s Audit Committee meeting on 26 Jan 2017 show:

“There was discussion regarding the continued formal reporting of a £5million deficit when the actual position is £41million.
 The CCG has repeatedly discussed the actual financial position with NHS England but has been asked to continue to report the deficit as £5million.”

There is a solution to this massive mess.

MPs need to call for:

  • an end to the so-called Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships
  • the restoration of a comprehensive, universal NHS
  • a publicly run NHS that is free at the point of clinical need
  • an NHS that is free of privatisation and marketisation
  • with sufficient government funding for good quality health and social care

For all these reasons, we need the NHS Bill to become law. Please support it on 12 May.

Many MPs who have previously refused to support the NHS Reinstatement Bill have done so on the basis that the last thing the NHS needs is another top down reorganisation.

This is a mistake on two grounds. First, the NHS Bill proposes to reclaim the NHS and social care as an integrated, publicly funded, owned, managed and delivered service through a bottom up process worked through existing organisations in existing forums.

Second, the NHS is already in the throes of a massive top down redisorganisation that splits the service into 44 Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships and is set to end our cradle to grave health care system and replace it with a 2 tier system that imports the profiteering, costly, unsafe and unfair American health system.

The West Yorkshire and Huddersfield so-called Sustainability and Transformation Plan aims to cut nearly £1bn from NHS and social care spending by 2020/21.

Unless we return the NHS to public ownership, funding, provision and management, our health care will be mostly private and paid for by private health insurance, with a rump Medicare system for those who can’t get private health insurance.

More info about the Bill is online here. . There are FAQs about the Bill here

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