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Legal Advice Confirms Death Of NHS If Health And Social Care Bill Becomes Law

September 2011 may well go down in history as the day that health care in the United Kingdom was privatised and the NHS finally killed off!

That is the dire prospect facing the public if the independent legal advice obtained by campaigning group 38 Degrees is accurate.

The overwhelming evidence in the 51 pages of legal advice on the Health and Social Care Bill and its 182 amendments, no longer means the privatisation of the NHS, but the total destruction and death of the NHS completely with the provision of health care in the UK by private companies, just as in the USA.

It is worth remembering how the country got to this position in the first place, and look at the reality facing a nation in danger of sleep walking into the destruction of a method of health care envied around the world and one which the USA wishes it had!

Following the Tory-led Con-dem(ned) Coalition government’s decision to put forward the Health and Social Care Bill, the majority of the public saw this as a means to an end which would result in the privatisation of the NHS with private companies, many being American, providing health care services.

38 Degrees petition campaign websiteGiven the outcry and concern raised by members of the campaigning group 38 Degrees, the organisation made saving the NHS a top priority.

It succeeded in gathering over 430,000 signatures on the "Save the NHS petition", raised over £90,000 for newspaper adverts and sent thousands of letters to MPs. On top of that over 150 groups of 38 Degrees members worked together to hand the "Save the NHS" petition to their local MP.

As a result of the overwhelming public opposition to this policy which was never even mentioned during last years general election campaign, the Government was forced to re-think the Bill and to order a stay of execution on the NHS, whilst they ‘consult’ with ‘stakeholders’.

This was in the form of meetings with most of the private health care lobbyists, and private health care companies in the UK. Lansley also met with those in the NHS and outside organisations favouring the so-called ‘health care reforms’, and launched a publicity campaign during which he claimed the public did not understand his reforms, and that clarity would come in the form of a myriad of amendments attached to the Bill, along with such clauses attacking current legislation on abortion, to mention just one of many which clouds the issues even further.

As a result, and because of the confusion the amendments have caused, campaign group 38 Degrees and its 850,000 members vowed to get independent legal advice to look at the Bill and the amendments being put forward for the Bill’s 3rd reading in September. They successfully raised over £38,000 through donations from several thousand 38 Degrees members contributions, and instructed a team of lawyers to dissect the Health and Social Care Bill and report on its implications for the NHS and the future provision of health care in the United Kingdom as a result of the passing of the Bill.

The final report which was published today 30th August provides extremely unsettling facts and confirmation that Lansley’s aims of delivering the provision of health care in this country into the hands of private health care companies from the USA, and eventually from any ‘able’ provider from any country in the world; is totally intact!

38 Degrees Legal Advice documents can be viewed in E-Library DatabaseThe 38 Degrees campaign website explains that In July 2011, 38 Degrees engaged Harrison Grant solicitors and the specialist barristers Stephen Cragg and Rebecca Haynes to give their legal opinions on two aspects of the Health and Social Care Bill:

1. The removal of Secretary of State for Health’s Duty to provide or secure provision of NHS services


2. The question of the impact of competition and procurement law on the NHS.

Both of these will could mean the Death of the NHS and the appalling spectre of the introduction of an American system of health care provision.

Whilst the Tory-led Government’s smoke-screen mantra, currently fooling most of the public that health care will be provided ‘free at the point of delivery’ is spouted out ad nausea; the reality is that due to the spiralling cost to the treasury of health care costs provided by private health care companies, users will eventually have to pay towards their health care at either the point of delivery, or as in the USA, via private health care insurance.

There are those who naively argue the government would never let this happen, but anyone examining the Tory plans, can foresee this as the ultimate result.

The report documents in full can be downloaded from the E-Library Database, but it is worth noting that the 38 Degrees website provides a quick over view of the legal advice, as well of course; the legal advice documents:

A: The Bill will remove duty to provide health care from the Government.

The bill will remove the duty of the Secretary of State to provide or secure the provision of health services which has been a common and critical feature of all previous NHS legislation since 1946. This is the means by which Parliament ensures the NHS delivers what the public want or expect. Furthermore, a “hands-off clause” will severely curtail the Sec of States’ ability to influence the delivery of NHS care to ensure everyone receives the best healthcare possible.

This could mean:

* There No longer being a National Health Service

* Loss of Accountability – The Government washes its hand of the NHS

* Loss of Accountability – Local representatives and health watchdogs lose their right to appeal

B: The Bill will Open the NHS up to competition law.

The Bill contains a number of measures which will increase competition within the NHS at the expense of collaboration and integration and/or make it almost inevitable that UK and EU competition law as if it were a utility like gas or telecoms.

This includes:

  • giving Monitor the duty to eliminate so-called “anti-competitive” behaviour

  • removing the limit on the amount of income NHS hospitals can earn from private health services

  • handing significant new procurement responsibilities to the new Clinical Commissioning Groups.

  • permitting these new groups to outsource commissioning work to private companies

  • writing additional rules on competition into the law and making Monitor enforce them

What this could mean:

* Exposing the NHS to UK and EU Competition Law

* Costly and complex procurement procedures

* Fertile ground for private health companies (and their lawyers)

* Opening our NHS to private companies - privatisation by stealth

Download the two reports into the legal advice of the implications of the Health And Social Care Bill on the NHS from the E-library Database, using keyword '38degrees'

If you wish to save the NHS from the Health And Social Care Bill, then please download the legal advice reports and contact your MP by emailing them via this dedicated 38 Degrees website page here

You can also download the Health and Social Care Bill: Committee Stage Report here

Source: 38 Degrees / The Guardian / GovDelivery

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