Government passes Health and Care Bill: KONP Statement

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An Act of denial that endangers the NHS

The Health and Care Bill is now on its way to getting Royal Assent as all objections and opposition has been brushed aside. The Government has got its way and will divide the NHS into over 40 separate units/Integrated Care Systems (ICS) acting virtually autonomously.

This is an Act of intent, deliberately breaking up the NHS and facilitating the spread of parasitising private interests, looking to make £billions from funding for public services. It does nothing to address the state of emergency the NHS is now in.

The intent is never clearer than in allowing the conflict of interest of private bodies directly (sitting on boards and committees) or indirectly (through provider collaboratives) to influence provision of NHS services.

This legislation will drastically worsen the state of emergency by imposing costly and disruptive reconfiguration. The Government has doggedly refused to agree to regular workforce review, despite 110,000 vacancies and catastrophic staff morale, yet without an adequate workforce the NHS simply cannot deliver safe and compassionate care.

It has now legalised the discharge of patients without a care plan, endangering their ongoing management and safety. The refusal to ensure a statutory duty to provide emergency care for everyone requiring it in an ICS area poses additional significant risks.

The Act allows the Secretary of State to interfere early to determine local reconfigurations including hospital closures, thwarting public consultation, and weakening the say local authorities and councillors have on NHS plans.

The ‘Care’ element of the Act is a misnomer, bringing in the grossly inequitable social care cost cap when only direct care costs paid by an individual count to the limit, not the overall cost of their care. Poorer people are more likely to lose all their available resources including their home, whilst the rich keep all but the first £86,000. This exacerbates social inequalities and disproportionately affects those living in more impoverished parts of the country.

A clear danger is there for NHS and care workers and trade unions, as the Act will threaten nationally negotiated and protected terms and conditions, and allows the Secretary of State to unilaterally end professional regulations on standards and training of NHS staff.

With limited budgets and soaring inflation further eroding already inadequate funding (leading inevitably to swift cuts in services), the battle on the Bill may be over, but the fight for the NHS, for patients and staff must now be more intense than ever.


Tony O’Sullivan and John Puntis, Co-Chairs Keep Our NHS Public


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18 Comments

  1. Typical of this Tory government, working for the wealthy and bugg*r everyone else. The USA want our system of healthcare but for some reason our government has been trying for years to privatise our system with the failed system of the USA. How many MPs have investments in the private healthcare and insurance sector and shouldn’t be able to vote on these matters as it is a conflict of interest.

  2. The gradual destruction of the NHS started in 1988 when Ken Clarke was Health Minister in his white paper “working for patients”. This set up the purchaser-provider split which has been built upon gradually year upon year. The choice to vote against the Tory-Labour axis is impossible and the US have fought hard to seek commercial access in this once great system for many years. Why people vote Tory is unknown. The NHS became a funding logo and that is about it. Staff morale has collapsed as has the qualified expereince based nursing that once fed it. We are know looking to leave ths country as it is rotten to the core. The only hope is we can find a suitable place in which to escape this dreadful Tory New World. How depressing the alleged political class have become who seem more interested in their own interests rather than the good of the county and those citizens it taxes. MPs and Lords should be ashamed of themselves but sadly are not.

  3. I’m lost for words and absolutely disgusted by this tory government. The nhs belongs to all of us and therefore I feel that this is theft to sell it off for the rich to get richer and spit on ordinary folk, the vast majority who won’t be able to fund their own healthcare. There are people like myself who have had very poor health for most of my life and wouldn’t be able to get any health insurance even if they could afford it.

  4. Let us consider, for a moment at least, the number of times we have heard those weasel words about “protecting the NHS” and “the NHS is a national treasure” spill disingenuously from politicians’ lips. There can be absolutely no argument that the Tory mantra (like Orwell’s “four legs good, two legs bad”) has always been “private good, public bad” and the passing of this legislation is a clear and present danger to the continuing existence of the NHS in the form that it was always intended to have. The end of this current ‘government’ can not come early enough – literally!

  5. Do you remember the song and dance about the NHS at the beginning of the Olympic games? How hypocritical is this??!!
    I still don’t believe that the general public have much insight into what this means for them, and the huge price hike they’re going to experience if the health insurance guys get in. Surely somebody somewhere has the ability to spread this message across the media??

    • Don’t just blame the Torys as awful as they are, the Blairite,Starmerite Labour Party asre erqually as bad, get rid of both and let’s have a truly National Health Service,owned and conducted entirely by the PUBLIC and that’s US, the so called man in the street

  6. Sorry to say but we have brought this upon ourselves at the ballot box. The vast majority who will be the losers in this latest government idealogical outing, more likely than not do not bother to vote. Or if they do, they sadly do not avail themselves of all the facts. I despair of this country which is going to get so much worse and may never get better. Where is the media in all of this? Heard nothing on the radio news so far today.

    • “Where is the media in all of this?”
      murdoch, the koch ‘brothers’ and the other billionaire media barons will ensure you will never hear of it, just like they will never re-report the loss of 500 CONservative council seats in the recent (5 May 2022) elections.
      AND their propaganda will ensure that the clueless and apathetic people who actually bother to vote will vote CONservative ensuring the CONservatives will landslide into number 10 AGAIN.

  7. But who do we Vote for? all the present parties in House of Commons–Not to forget the lords– are all in it for what they can get. WE NEED A NEW PARTY OF THE WORKERS

    • I have frequently listened to the words of sanity, vision and humanity spoken by the one Green MP, Caroline Lucas. We need more like her.

  8. This is so very sad for us all. As many of us get sick as we get older and need some kind of support, those of us with little money will loose our homes.

    This policy will also act as a property grab. The World Ecconomic Forum put out a video a few years ago:

    ‘By 2030 you will own nothing and be happy.’

    Is this one of the ways they intend to destroy our property rights?

    My daughter got a letter from the student loan company that said later this year the Bank of England Interest Rates would be going up and so they were giving my daughter notice that the interest rate on her student loan would be going up to a massive 14% in September!

    What does this mean for mortgage and loan interest rates?

    With energy prices and fluel prices at an all time high, clearly in part caused by our own governments sactions on Russia. The move to a digital currance with conditional components (China social credit system). We are moving into total collapse on a world wide scale at levels never seen before in the history of humanity.

    The full and complete privatisation of the NHS is just one small part of this global plan to. Johnson describes it as ‘levelling up’, which is really a levelling down and a total destruction of the middle classes. Think carefully about what you see unfold in the comming months and years.

  9. What amazes me is that you hear GPs moaning about their increasing workload now that they rarely see patients-but none of them mentions this bill.Is it because it contains some benefits for them?

  10. It’s appalling. Our NHS was the envy of other countries and they copied it. Even improved on it (I lived in Belgium for 20 years, it really works there!). And now it’s being dismantled completely…

  11. It has now legalised the discharge of patients without a care plan, endangering their ongoing management and safety. The refusal to ensure a statutory duty to provide emergency care for everyone requiring it in an ICS area poses additional significant risks.

  12. The Conservative government got in by default, the polling stations were full of thugs and new voters it was a strange atmosphere. Now there is a feeling of anarchy against them. How can the ordinary person understand the complexity of what is going on and protect the NHS. Which party will lead us to a better future. The NHS needs to be protected. It could be profitable in its own right. There is and has been so much waste within it yet no one can or wants to take control the power forces and experienced people are all of an age where they are retiring so the strength is waning. Disagree with what is happening and people do not advance. Fat cats line their own pockets and move on. The Privatisation has been going on slowly for years under our noses. How can that be reversed. It will take years. Who can we vote for to get it back. Truth and unity from the present government is not present. The NHS is not an easy service to run. It needs help. We have the power in our votes but who is worthy. Heads would have rolled if a patient left the building without a Plan of care. We must get the Quality back and Privatisation isn’t the answer.

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