Speak out for our NHS
- 04:31 pm, Fri 27th May 2011
There are just a few days left before the Government’s “listening exercise” over the Health and Social Care Bill comes to a close.
Hundreds of people have contacted me in the past few weeks to express their concerns about this Bill. I made sure that the Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley received copies of every single letter and email so that he could see hear this public outcry for himself, but I also encouraged each of these people to take part in the listening exercise.
It may just be an expensive bit of PR, they may be just wasting time and hoping that people will lose interest and the plans will go ahead regardless. Only time will tell, but, the more of us that take part and make our voices heard the harder it will be for the Government to ignore the flaws in their plans.
The Coalition promised no top down re-organisations of the NHS, but now plan it’s biggest ever re-organisation. This will cost upwards of £3bn at a time when they have already asked the NHS to make £20bn of savings. There are so many ways that this money could be better used.
Including GPs in local health service decisions is something that few people would argue with, but this plan to end the PCTs and hand everything over to GPs is filled with problems. It is likely that many of the staff made redundant by the disappearing PCTs will be hired by a new GP consortium in a similar role – a needless waste of time and resources. The idea could actually make decision making even more closed off and unaccountable at a time when people want the opposite.
The proposals as they stand would produce a much larger role for private companies in the NHS. They may be brought in to manage commissioning on behalf of the GP consortia. Competition would be encouraged above all else by the “Monitor” regulator. The cap on the amount that hospitals can make from private patients would be removed, potentially pushing NHS patients to the back of the line as hospitals attempt to fill the holes in their budget.
There are many other issues with this Bill, it has the potential to undermine the entire NHS and the spirit of public service that has helped so many.
The Government have no mandate for these potentially disastrous changes and this is why we must do all we can to change their mind.
The listening exercise will be open until 5pm on 31st May.
You can participate in three ways:
Or write to NHS Modernisation Listening Exercise, Room 605, Richmond House, 79 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2NS