Jo has written to Kingswood MP Chris Skidmore urging him to back Labour's Bill in Parliament on Friday to undo his Government's damaging NHS reforms.
Read Jo's letter below...
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Dear Chris Skidmore,
Before the 2010 General Election, David Cameron said the NHS was his number one priority, and promised that he would "stop the top-down reorganisations that have got in the way of patient care". Then within days of becoming Prime Minister, his Government launched the biggest reorganisation of the NHS in its history. It was a reorganisation no-one voted for, that NHS staff didn’t want, and that has cost £3billion which could have been spent on patient care.
If a Labour Government is elected next May, we will repeal the Government’s Health & Social Care Act to undo the damage their reforms have caused. But I know it isn’t good enough just to make promises about what we will do after an election – which is why Labour is putting a Bill to Parliament this Friday to do away with the most harmful aspects of the Government’s reforms.
I am writing to urge you to vote with Labour MPs on Friday in support of this Bill.
The reforms brought about by the Government’s Health & Social Care Act have piled pressure on our health service. Implementing the reorganisation has taken £3billion out of frontline care. Pay-offs have gone to 4,000 members of NHS staff who were fired, then rehired. And rules have been introduced forcing doctors to put services out to the market, even if they do not want to, meaning large sums of money are being wasted administering tendering exercises. In a recent survey, two thirds of commissioners said they had experienced “increased commissioning costs” as a result of the new regulations. So Labour’s Bill will scrap these rules, saving money on bureaucracy which could be put into frontline care.
The Health & Social Care Act has also exposed the NHS to the full force of EU competition law, and established Monitor as an economic regulator to enforce competition in the health service. Ultimately this means doctors are not just forced to put services out to the market – it means providers must compete to cut costs, and cut corners, in order to win contracts. It means a race to the bottom and threatens the quality of care patients receive. So Labour’s Bill will scrap the competition framework and remove the role of Monitor as an economic regulator.
As a former member of the Health Select Committee, you must have seen the impact of your Government’s NHS reorganisation on the care patients receive. Please use this opportunity to show your constituents where you stand on the NHS, and to start rebuilding trust from those who voted for you believing a Conservative Government would protect our NHS.
Given the public interest in the future of the NHS I am putting a copy of this letter on my website.
I’ll look forward to your response.
Jo McCarron, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Kingswood