Join KONP and We Own It in calling for the scrapping of section 75
- NHS England (NHSE) is proposing an end to enforced competitive tendering of clinical services (‘section 75’)
- But NHS England is not proposing an end to all contracting
- KONP and We Own It support the demand for an end to section 75
- But we go further and call for a complete end to competitive tendering in the NHS
- ‘Stop private companies suing the NHS’ – write to NHS England using We Own It’s letter (deadline 25 April)
Section 75 regulations are part of the implementation of the much-hated 2012 Health & Social Care Act (implemented April 2013). KONP campaigned vigorously against both. We correctly argued that serious damage would be done by section 75 regulations enforcing competitive tendering of clinical services. Amidst other related dangers – including the spectre of Integrated Care Providers and the ICP contract – the damage done by s75 regulations is real and present.
We say ‘Yes’ to an end to Section 75 of the Health and Social Care Act.
We argue this because there is no sensible reason why campaigners, who fought to prevent this Act ever going through, would not support the scrapping of one of the most damaging sections of the act that has led to the carve-up of the NHS through multiple contracts and a competitive market.
We go further and demand an end to contracting and privatisation altogether, an end to the Health Social Care Act and the reinstatement of the NHS as a wholly public service.
The NHS England (NHSE) and NHS Improvement (NHSI) Committee in Common has published core proposals on primary legislation affecting contracting, privatisation and integrated care systems/providers.
The legislative change proposed by NHSE is a partial recognition that the 2012 Health and Social Care Act is not fit for purpose and must be changed. And it is evident that the campaigning KONP and others have done against privatisation and ACOs, the ACO Judicial Review and associated campaign, and our testimony at the Health & Social Care Select Committee in February 2018 have all had an impact – we have forced the Government and NHSE to attempt to deny their privatisation policies, and we made toxic the term ‘accountable care’.
Now NHS England is proposing that government revoke section 75 regulations:
That the regulations made under section 75 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 should be revoked and the powers in primary legislation under which they are made should be repealed.
We would welcome an end to Section 75 of the Health and Social Care Act
However, NHS England is not proposing an end to contracting in the NHS – far from it. The proposed changes facilitate NHS England’s current direction of travel for the NHS, rather than representing an end to marketisation. NHSE has its own reasons for abolishing compulsory tendering and removal of the influence of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). While seeking to reduce the chaos of thousands of uncoordinated contracts under the Health & Social Care Act, it is pushing through fewer but massive contracts on a large scale, leading to further damage and fragmentation of the NHS. This intention is only too clear from their enforced tendering of specialised imaging services key to the cancer pathway. In Oxford the renowned NHS hospital The Churchill, recently lost control of its imaging services to the private company InHealth.
This is the latest example of why we demand an end to privatisation and contracting.
KONP has been campaigning against privatisation in the NHS in all its forms since 2005: against the growth of the internal market, private contracting and compulsory tendering through the Health & Social Care Act and its secondary regulations. We call for an end to privatisation, an end to contracting and the provider/commissioner split that has increased bureaucracy and delivered no benefits over almost 30 years since its introduction by Thatcher.
As part of this campaign, it is logical that Keep Our NHS Public calls for the ending of Section 75’s compulsory tendering – this is part of the journey to renationalise the NHS. We continue to call for legislation to return the NHS to a publicly provided national service once again – comprehensive and universally accessible. The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care must once again be directly responsible for the NHS to Parliament and the electorate.
Our overall goal is to win back Bevan’s vision of the NHS and this is encapsulated in the NHS Bill.
NHS England’s plans for Integrated Care Providers
In the context of the market in the NHS, with the dangers of Integrated Care Providers (ICPs) with huge contracts, KONP has repeatedly opposed NHSE’s plans for its version of ‘integrated care’ – where they mean merging organisations and budgets under a huge budget and single management system to deliver strict cost controls with exclusion of treatements and health rationing. See for example:
NHS England consultation on legislation ends 25 April 2019
- Read the paper of the joint committee of NHSE and NHSI here
- Read about NHSE’s proposals ‘Implementing the NHS Long Term Plan’ here
- Read about NHSE’s public engagement ending 25 April here – you and respond on a form and feedback.
- Respond using the formatted feedback on line to NHSE here
GMB calls for section 75 to be scrapped
See the GMB’s call for the repeal of the Health and Social Care Act and they have set up a petition calling for the scrapping of section 75