“I can assure you there will be no privatisation of the NHS under this government…” Craig Whittaker MP

Craig Whittaker has refused to sign Early Day Motion 1188. EDM 1188 asks  for the annullment of the ‘new’ regulations (SI 2013/500) under Section 75 of the Health and Social Care Act – the ones that provide a stealth route to privatising the NHS. The advice of David Lock, a Queen’s Counsel employed by campaigning organisation 38 Degrees, is that the new regulations (the National Health Service (Procurement, Patient Choice and Competition) (No. 2) Regulations 2013),

“are likely to have the effect of both permitting and promoting the transfer of NHS services to private sector.”

David Lock QC also says that private health care providers will

“seek to use the (in places unclear) wording of the Regulations to put pressure on CCGs” 

(CCGs are Clinical Commissioning Groups, the new organisations that are responsible for commissioning NHS services for their area.)

Craig Whittaker vows to defend the NHS from privatisation

Craig Whittaker MP does not share this legal opinion. His reply to my request that he sign EDM 1188 starts (after the usual niceties):

“The Government took the concerns about these regulations very seriously and in response, improved the drafting of the regulations so there can be no doubt about how they apply.”

Mr Whittaker’s refusal concludes:

“It has never been the Government’s intention to make all NHS services subject to competitive tendering, or to force competition for service.”

Whatever the avowed intentions of the Government who’s made these regulations, expert legal opinion is clear that it will become impossible for CCGs to resist the transfer of NHS services to private companies.

What powers does Craig Whittaker MP believe he can summon to support his final statement?

“I can assure you that there will be no privatisation of the NHS under this Government. I will therefore not be signing  EDM 1188.”

When Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group starts handing out contracts to private companies and Calderdale NHS staff are about to be sold to private companies, we must remember to call on our MP to stop this and make sure Calderdale NHS survives intact.

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