To: Joseph Johnson M.P.
House of Commons
I write to urge you to support the Private Member’s Bill being presented by Clive Efford, Labour MP for neighbouring Eltham, which will be tabled for debate in the House of Commons on Friday 21st November. It is the National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill 2014-15, and it seeks to amend some of the most controversial parts of the Health and Social Care Act 2012.
I believe the Government had no mandate to introduce such an Act; indeed the Prime Minister had promised the very opposite – no top down reform of the NHS. Furthermore the Government had no mandate to privatise the NHS which is now well entrenched in the wake of the 2012 Act.
I understand the Bill will focus on two main areas.
1. Section 75 rules
These are the rules that many doctors say are forcing them to put services out to the market, even if they do not want to, for fear of legal challenge. These regulations risk fragmenting health services and cause large amounts of money to be spent on tendering exercises at the direct expense of patient care.
In a recent survey by Health Service Journal, two thirds of commissioners said they had experienced increased commissioning costs as a result of the new regulations (Health Service Journal, 4 April 2014).
Sir David Nicholson, a former Chief Executive of the NHS said in the Financial Times, 5 November 2013, “You’ve got competition lawyers all over the place, causing enormous difficulty. We are getting, in my view, bogged down in a morass of competition law which is causing … significant cost in the system.”
2. Competition framework
The Health & Social Care Act exposed the NHS to the full force of EU competition law. It also established Monitor as an economic regulator to enforce competition in the NHS, along with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
There have been some cases of proposed reforms deemed eminently sensible by the professionals in the institutions concerned which have been frustrated by the need to put all such matters out to private tender.
Clive Efford’s Bill would scrap the competition framework, remove the role of Monitor as an economic regulator enforcing competition in the NHS, and remove the Competition and Markets Authority from any role in the NHS.
The Orpington Labour Party was campaigning recently on this issue in the High St. and managed to secure over 130 signatures in the space of one hour asking MPs to support Clive Efford’s Bill.
I urge you to support the Bill.
Nigel de Gruchy
Orpington Labour Party candidate for the 2015 General Election
Secretary Orpington Labour Party
You can also send an email to Jo Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org encouraging him to vote for the bill.