My colleague Margaret Greenwood, MP for Wirral West, is set to present the NHS Bill to Parliament for its Second Reading this Friday, 4th November. The Bill aims to put a stop to the privatisation of the NHS. It would also remove the costly and inefficient internal market and tackle PFI debt.
I am very pleased to be a co-sponsor of this Bill.
This Bill is very significant and urgently needed. It restores the duty of the Secretary of State to provide and secure a comprehensive health service in England- a duty which was scrapped by the 2012 Health and Social Care Act.
This is crucial because that duty underpinned our entitlement to a comprehensive health service in England. At the moment Jeremy Hunt doesn’t actually have that duty, and so our entitlement to a comprehensive health service in England is undermined.
The Bill would stop NHS services from being forced out to competitive tender. This is important because the money we pay in taxes should not go into the pockets of the shareholders of private companies; it should be spent on patient care. The Bill restores the NHS as a public service.
The 2012 Act allows NHS Foundation Trust hospitals to make up to 49% of their money out of private patients. Margaret and I believe this is a national scandal. It was in neither the Conservative nor the Liberal Democrat manifestos, but they went ahead and passed that law. This Bill would put a stop to that.
“We must not let the government hand over our precious NHS to the private sector.
“The NHS Bill that I am presenting to Parliament also tackles the problem of PFI debt by transferring liability to the Treasury, freeing up our hospitals to do what they were originally designed to do – look after patients.
“The Bill would also remove the inefficient and costly internal market that was introduced by the Thatcher government.
“The NHS Bill is an important and timely piece of legislation which has cross-party support.
“We need the government to get behind it and put an end to the privatisation of our National Health Service.”
As this NHS Bill is a Private Member’s Bill; it is a Bill introduced by an individual MP. In order for it to become law, it requires the government to make time in Parliament for it to be debated and to allow it to pass through the various stages in Parliament on the way to the statute book.
You can find out more about Private Member’s Bills at www.parliament.uk/about/how/laws/bills/private-members
You can read the full text of the NHS Bill 2016 at