In light of the worrying healthcare reform proposals moved by the Tory Government, the Cities of London and Westminster CLP sent a public letter to the Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Wes Streeting MP, to stimulate fiercer opposition. The full letter can be found below:
We are writing to you as Chair and Secretary of Cities of London and Westminster CLP, to get in touch with you about the government’s Health and Care Bill.
Our CLP is extremely concerned about the Bill and its effects on the NHS. Among other things:
- It will allow private companies – through Integrated Care Partnerships and through sub-committees such as place-based partnerships and provider collaboratives – to influence decisions on how public money will be spent.
- It allows for the deregulation of NHS professions – this has very serious implications for the level of expertise there is in the NHS going forward and the status and pay of those professionals.
- It will remove the procurement of health care services from the scope of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. We fear this will make it easier for contracts to be handed out to the private sector with insufficient safeguards in place, leading to cronyism.
- The new NHS payment scheme proposed in the bill could lead to the erosion of Agenda for Change pay and terms and conditions of NHS staff.
- The Bill allows for social care needs assessments to take place after a vulnerable patient has been discharged from hospital instead of before, potentially putting vulnerable patients at risk and leaving families to pick up the pieces.
- There have been worrying reports recently of people in need of urgent care being turned away from A&E because they did not present at the A&E closest to where they live, and there is nothing in the Bill to address this.
- The government has broken its manifesto promise that nobody needing care would be forced to sell their home to pay for it.
- The Bill doesn’t sufficiently address the NHS staffing crisis – according to the latest figures there are more than 93,000 full-time equivalent vacancies in England’s NHS providers.
We believe that the Health and Care Bill, if passed, will be incredibly damaging to our NHS and to those who work in the service.
As Labour members and activists, we call on you to raise these concerns with the Secretary of State for Health Sajid Javid and urge Keir Starmer to raise this crucial issue at one of his next PMQ sessions with the Prime Minister.
Please do all you can to block this terrible Bill.
Harry Stratton Aurelio Miracolo
On behalf of Cities of London & Westminster CLP