Save our NHS

The drastic NHS reforms being pushed through parliament may do long-term damage to a much-loved institution. It isn’t too late to make your voice heard.

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About the bill
The government’s proposed Health and Social Care BIll represents the most radical change to the NHS is its 60 year history. The Bill will alter the way the NHS works by increasing commercial competition and changing the way services are commissioned and paid for.

There has been competition within the NHS for some time, although so far this has been mainly confined to the provision of services. The proposed legislation would fundamentally change this model so that the planning and commissioning of services would be subject to greater market forces, rather than being planned for the benefit of everybody, regardless of who they are or where they live.

We think these drastic measures will eventually lead to inequality between different areas of the country, reduced public accountability and generally poorer levels of patient care. The reforms could also lead to some services being cancelled altogether if they are not ‘commercially viable’ – this could leave vulnerable and under-represented groups – such as the elderly or disabled – at greater risk of losing out.

The financial cost of these reforms will be immense, and will take its toll on NHS budgets, which are already being squeezed by cuts.

Most of the major groups representing British healthcare professionals have voiced serious concerns about the scope and speed of the plans, including The British Medical Association, The Royal College of Surgeons, The Royal College of Nursing, The Chartered Society of Physiotherapists, Unite and Unison – to name just a few.

Many healthcare charities have also come out against the reforms, including The Alzheimer’s Society, Asthma UK, Breakthrough Breast Cancer, Diabetes UK, National Voices, Rethink, The British Heart Foundation and The Stroke Association.

“Government fails to listen on reform” — The British Medical Association

The Bill has passed its second reading in the House of Commons, and has now gone to the Committee stage. More information on the bill, and its progression through parliament can be found on the Parliament website.

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