JR4NHS wins important concession: a national public consultation on ACOs

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Latest news: 24 January 2018 – Statement from the team

Thanks to the fantastic, far-reaching and committed campaign involving thousands of people, and our brilliant legal team, the government and NHS England have now accepted that there must be a national public consultation on ACOs, and that no ACO contract will be signed until that’s happened.

This is great news, and a clear concession in response to our seeking a judicial review. 

NHS England’s lawyers promised this to our lawyers on Monday evening, and Jeremy Hunt confirmed this at the Health Select Committee yesterday.

Our Famous Five (L to R): Dr Graham Winyard, Professor Allyson Pollock, Dr Colin Hutchinson, Professor Sue Richards, Professor Stephen Hawking

But don’t be fooled into thinking they’ve given up. Despite repeated questioning from Sarah Wollaston MP, the Committee chair:

  • Hunt refused to delay the ACO regulations that he’s still planning for February, which are intended to facilitate the ACO contract – even though there’s no longer an urgent need for them; and
  • Hunt has still not accepted the need for an Act of Parliament before ACOs can operate lawfully.

This is very important because the government has said they will change the definition of ACOs with input from NHS England, but we have absolutely no idea what the new definition will be.

We still remain very concerned about the lack of transparency and the need for primary legislation on ACOs, and so we have told the court this afternoon that we want to press ahead with these points.

Private companies lack transparency and accountability, the opposite of what we want for our public NHS.

This is why we want to make absolutely sure of the definition of “Accountable Care Organisations” in any consultation. We think there is no point in a consultation if the ACOs they consult on are unlawful.

We have been told by the court that we can expect a decision on permission tomorrow, or very early next week.

Thanks once again for all your incredible support.

Watch Hunt at the Health Select  Committee 23 January

You can watch Jeremy Hunt giving evidence about ACOs to the Health Select Committee yesterday – from about 16.50 in this video – near the end (ends 17.02):


Correspondence between Jeremy Hunt and Sarah Wollaston

You can also read the letters between Hunt and Chair of the Health Select Committee, Sarah Wollaston MP here:


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  1. I know of a fellow called hunt,
    Whose wit is exceedingly blunt,
    He’d sell our health jewels
    To his mates the rich ghouls,
    Then wonder why we call him…..runt.

  2. A reorientation of the perameters of the legal prescription of the ACO, like moving the goalposts on a football pitch which still has the same dimensions and layout would not even begin to heal the sick heart of the problem. Yet, it must be good if the particular character of the NHS’s and Care sector’s problems get more public exposure and the authoritarian bodies in control feel increasingly threatened by growing multitudes of disaffected health workers unifying under one powerful, morally indignant banner.

  3. We cannot relax on any of this. Hunt is just the current mouth-piece there to carry out the wishes of many Tories who have a vested interest in Private Health. The Tories have been putting the machinery in place over many years to dismantle the NHS so let us not kid ourselves that we have won this battle yet.

  4. Nothing to celebrate if talks are led by NHS England. Simon Stevens is it’s head & chief architect. The whole purpose of NHS England is the assembling of a new privatised infrastructure from the parts of NHS already sold off and those planned for sale, piece by piece by stealth. People talk about the Tories planning sell off & privatise the NHS as if it hasnt yet happened. Its happened, by stealth. Tory privatisation is on the home straight. ACO”S are the crowning move in the coup with tie ins to 15 year contracts that any future government will struggle to annul at huge cost & Tricky, lengthy legal battles. There shouldnt be consultations with hunt or new England. Changes like this should never happen without parliamentary consensus. Talks somehow give an air of credibility to ACOs. People need to know the truth about ACOs, I’m surprised this JR4NHS isn’t providing that detail. Google The truth about ACOs (the American Health Care Insurance system is built on them & this is the system that Simon Stevens is engineering for the UK. The only people ACOs are accountable to are the shareholders in the insurance provider. Also Google Simon Stevens & see his role in NHS England. And if that’s too long a trail, just Google Dr Bob Gill, his videos & writing are very well researched & revelatory.There is also the The Great NHS Heist page on facebook. The truth is out there. Why endorse the destroyers of our greatest human asset, the NHS, with talks that they will use to distract everyone further from their stealth attacks on the NHS? Go straight to legal challenge, time is wasying.

    • Antionette, Can I please share your comment on faceboook as this is too important to just see it in a forum. It needs to go viral to stop these politicians in their tracks. They do not have a mandate from us, the taxpayers, to sell of a public asset without our approval for their private gain and the shareholders of insurance companies.Virgin Care should also be stopped from buying up more of our NHS.

    • Thanks. Not quite sure why you think we are not aware of these things. But I am glad you are aware. Please do join in with us in campaigning.

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