Modest Proposals to defend NHS

The following letter was published today in the York Press

At a recent meeting in Goole, Andy Burnham launched proposals about the further integration of health and social care.

The primary need is for the Labour Party to be clear in its opposition to the draconian privatisation of the NHS made inevitable by the Tory Health and Social Care Act.

To do this effectively, Labour needs to ‘‘come clean’’ about the damage done by its own policy of micro-privatisation which opened the floodgates.

It has been encouraging to read that Andy Burnham seems to be taking this approach, alongside proposing the integration of health and social care.

However, while agreeing that, in the long term, integration is the way forward, this is not the time for another massive top-down reorganisation.

Defend Our NHs would like to make far more modest proposals:

1 Responsibility for health care should revert to the Secretary of State

2 Cancellation of the 2013 regulation 75 which restored the pressure on clinical, commissioning groups of GPs (CCGs) to put services out to tender to ‘‘any qualified provider’’

3 The power and centrality of MONITOR should be curtailed.

4 GPs with commercial health company interests should be ineligible for CCG membership.

5 The commercial health company interests of MPs and peers should be publicised.

6 The clause allowing NHS hospitals to raise up to 49 per cent of their income from private care should be revoked 7 Most urgently, the impending EU/US Trade Agreement planned for November next year should exempt health care from its measures. Without such exemption, privatisation of British health care (the NHS) becomes inevitable.

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