NHS Reinstatement Bill March 2016

Thank you for contacting me recently regarding the NHS Reinstatement Bill campaign.

The National Health Service Bill 2015-16 failed to pass Second Reading on Friday 11 March 2016 and there are now no more Fridays for Private Members' Bills in this Parliamentary session and so there will not be an opportunity for this Bill to progress. 

I am supportive of the overall objectives of the Bill. In particular, I support the principles behind duties outlined in Clause 1- namely restoring accountability to the Secretary of State for the delivery of health services and the requirement that a comprehensive health service continues to be provided free of charge.

I also believe that the encroaching privatisation of the NHS must be halted and that decisions about NHS services should never be called into question by any international treaties or agreements, such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

However I was concerned that some of the other parts of this Bill would require another wholesale reorganisation of the health service. 

The top-down reorganisation of the NHS, brought about by the Coalition Government's Health and Social Care Act 2012 cost over £3bn and eroded staff morale. 

Therefore, whilst I support the broad objectives which lie behind this Bill, I am concerned about the scale of structural change and costs associated with any further major reorganisation of the NHS. If the Bill were to have proceeded, the Opposition would have sought to amend it to avoid the problems of a further reorganisation. 

In line with the manifesto I stood on at the last election, I am committed to repealing the competition elements of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, and ensuring that patient care is always put before profits, and collaboration before competition.

Thank you once again for writing to me and for sharing your views.