The death knell of Blairism

NHSBill2015.1Response by Allyson Pollock and Peter Roderick
to a recent post on the website of the Socialist Health Association
by Irwin Brown on the NHS Reinstatement Bill (5th November 2015)

IB writes:

“The NHS Reinstatement Bill is expected to have its second reading in March 2016. It would replace the current NHS architecture with a return to Regional and District Health Authorities.”

Our response: The Bill does not do this. The Bill replaces clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), transforms NHS England into a Special Health Authority, and abolishes the market structures (NHS Trusts, NHS Foundation Trusts and Monitor). The Bill does not return to regional and district authorities (the first consultation draft put out in August 2014 proposed district authorities and regional committees of NHS England). The Bill replaces CCGs with Health Boards (the bodies in Scotland and Wales) approved by the Secretary of State on the basis of bottom-up proposals. The Bill also proposes regional committees of NHS England (as in the first consultation draft). Continue reading

Relaunch of NHS Reinstatement Bill campaign in Yorkshire, November 7th, Shipley College

Skipton and Keighley 38 Degrees group are holding a public workshop in Shipley on the afternoon of 7th November, to relaunch the Yorkshire campaign for the NHS Reinstatement Bill.

NHSBill2015_scaledupIn July 2015, twelve MPs – including Caroline Lucas of the Green Party and Jeremy Corbyn, now Labour leader – presented the NHS Reinstatement Bill in the House of Commons, as a private members bill. It is due for its second reading on 11 March 2016. The Bill is supported by MPs from five parties.

Can the relaunched campaign make that six, by getting some Tory MPs on side? After all, 77% of Tory voters and supporters want a publicly owned, publicly run NHS.

Barrister Peter Roderick, the Bill’s co-author with Public Health Professor Allyson Pollock, will attend the 7 November workshop to explain the Bill and answer questions about it.

People who would like to attend the Workshop are asked to sign up in advance. Continue reading

Renegotiate hospital PFI debts to fair value and use criminal prosecution where necessary

Jeremy Corbyn has called for the Labour party in opposition to campaign for a fund to be set up to bail out NHS trusts from PFI schemes that were forced upon them under the New Labour government.

This is in line with the current draft of the 2015 NHS Reinstatement Bill, that Jeremy Corbyn has co-sponsored as a Private Members Bill along with Caroline Lucas MP and other MPs.

The Bill is due to receive its second reading on 11 March 2016 and it’s vital that all opposition MPs support it – as well as Conservative MPs who respect the wishes of the 77% of Tory supporters who want a publicly-owned and run NHS.

However, not all supporters of the NHS Reinstatement Bill are happy with the section that calls for removal of PFI debts from hospitals and centralisation of the debts in the Treasury, and discussions are underway about proposed amendments to this bit of the Bill.

This is because removing PFI debts from hospitals (which is also the aim of Corbyn’s proposal of fund to buy out the hospital Trusts’ PFI debts) doesn’t do anything to tackle the inappropriate PFI debts, and it helps the PFI lenders launder debts which were arrived at in inappropriate situations – as work by Professor Allyson Pollock documents. Continue reading