From: Going To Work – from the TUC <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 25 February 2013 14:19
Subject: URGENT: Help stop NHS privatisation by the back door
Last year, the government succeeded in forcing the controversial Health and Social Care Bill through Parliament. The opposition to it was so strong, from NHS professionals and patients alike, that they had to make a number of promises on how they would approach it.
Crucially, ministers promised that that the new commissioning groups would not have to open up all services to markets and privatisation, and that local people would have the final say on who provided their services.
But now, the government have laid before Parliament the regulations they plan to use to implement the act. They contain new requirements for most commissioning by the National Commissioning Board (NCB) and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to be done through competitive markets.
Under the new regulations for Section 75 of the bill, a contract can only be awarded to an NHS provider without competition in an “emergency” or technically restricted circumstances, even if that’s what the CCG and local people want for their service. If CCGs do not comply, the regulations give watchdog Monitor the power to enforce privatisation procedures.
These regulations will pass into law on 1 April unless enough of us make it clear we do not agree.
The first opportunity to challenge them is at the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee in the Lords. Their job is to scrutinise regulations to see if they match the aims of the original legislation, and their help could be vital in exposing and overturning this attempt to force privatisation of our local health services.
But time is of the essence. The Committee are meeting soon and need their evidence submitted by noon on Tuesday 26 February. Please help us lobby the committee about why it’s so important to reject this attempt to sneak privatisation into the new NHS regulations.