Disappointed and shocked that Labour is not backing NHS Reinstatement Bill

This is a Public statement from the NHS Reinstatement Bill campaign group, 21 June 2018:

The best birthday present the NHS could have had this year is the NHS Bill, written by Professor Allyson Pollock and Peter Roderick, to restore it to a full public service, after 30 years of incremental steps to privatisation.

The NHS Reinstatement Bill Group were expecting Eleanor Smith, MP for Wolverhampton South West to table the Bill in the House of Commons on 11th July 2018. Eleanor Smith, an NHS nurse for 40 years before she became an MP in 2017, is passionate about this issue.

Yesterday morning she informed us that this will not now happen. We understand that this was the result of the shadow health team vetoing it.

Chair of the Group and co-author of the Bill, Professor Allyson Pollock said:

“We are deeply disappointed and somewhat shocked that the shadow health team is not backing the bill. It was voted for unanimously as policy by Labour Conference in 2017 and has been supported for a number of years by Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell. The Health Select Committee has suggested that primary legislation is needed for the NHS, so surely this is the moment for Labour to be championing a public service bill. Otherwise we are at risk of government legislation bringing in the US-style organisational structure of Integrated Care, which NHS campaigners are vigorously opposing.”

Update 22.6.18

John Lister and Tony O’Sullivan have put out a Keep Our NHS Public statement that it is not the Shadow Health Team but Jeremy Corbyn’s office that vetoed MP Eleanor Smith’s presentation of the NHS Bill to the House of Commons on 11th July.

We are now in the territory of competing narratives. Really, does it matter which bit of the Shadow front bench did the veto? It is the fact of the veto that matters.

Following the KONP statement, Eleanor Smith MP has clarified that:

“Following the withdrawal of the NHS Bill on Wednesday I have now received clarification from the Health Policy team as to where the resistance to the Bill came from. In view of this I want to reassure supporters of the Bill that the main thrust of its content will be maintained; we are going to try and work through and resolve the issues; meetings are being arranged for next week- and I expect to be invited to take part in them. I know that passions are running high, and no-one is more disappointed than I am but please can I ask supporters to keep their passion but also remain patient. The fact is, in the 70th anniversary year of the NHS, we desperately need a Bill that we can all support and rally behind. We must preserve the NHS before it is completely destroyed by this Tory government.”

Calderdale and Kirklees 999 Call for the NHS has campaigned enthusiastically for the NHS Reinstatement Bill since 2014

It is central to our core aims of stopping and reversing NHS privatisation.

We are deeply disappointed that the NHS Bill will not have a reading on 11 July under the 10 Minute Rule Bill, as Eleanor Smith MP was due to present it.  We share Professor Pollock’s anxieties about government legislation bringing in the US-style organisational structure of Integrated Care.

Calderdale Integrated Care Organisation approved as future model of primary and community services

Particularly since Calderdale Council and Calderdale NHS organisations are well down the path to setting up an Integrated Care Organisation, as shown in the Terms of Reference for Calderdale MBC and Calderdale CCG Integrated Commissioning Executive,  approved today by Calderdale Health and Wellbeing Board. (Item 6, Appendix 1)

As everyone will know who has been following the Accountable Care saga in the NHS, in the spring NHS England and the Department of Health rebranded Accountable Care as Integrated Care, in order to avoid its pesky American connotations. Cllr Bob Metcalfe welcomed this spin at the Council’s February Cabinet meeting, for this very reason.

At that meeting, Calderdale Council Cabinet resolved to commit the Council to implement the proposals for the Calderdale Cares Accountable Care System, on the basis of an appallingly written paper.  Cllr Tim Swift, (Council Leader and Chair of the Cabinet and Health and Wellbeing Board) gave assurances that there was no intention to set up an Accountable Care Organisation.

His written reply to ck999’s question at the Cabinet meeting said:

“The Calderdale Cares paper does not propose the establishment of an Accountable Care Organisation.”

It did not in so many words – but it very clearly implied it.

Now, lo and behold: the return of the repressed in the Integrated Commissioning Executive’s Terms of Reference. The section called “Delivering new models of primary and community services” states there will be a

“New Integrated Care Organisation delivering primary and community services, physical and mental health, in partnership with statutory and third sector.”






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