Wednesday, 20 July 2011

NHS Our next step

What do Andrew Lansley's latest plans mean for our NHS? Privatisation by stealth? A slippery slope towards full-blown competition? The end of the health minister's "duty to provide" a health service? The truth is it's murky: his latest NHS proposals are a muddle of over 180 amendments. [1]

Our massive public outcry, along with big concerns from doctors, nurses and other experts, forced the government to pause their original NHS plans. Since then they've hastily rewritten big chunks of the legislations, and made all kinds of reassuring statements.

But there’s a risk that behind the warm words, long-term threats to our health service remain. We need to work together to make sure dangerous changes aren’t slipped through in the small print whilst public attention is elsewhere.

If enough of us club together, we can hire independent legal experts to go through Lansley's plans with a fine toothcomb. We can identify any hidden threats – before it’s too late to stop them.

Can you chip in to fund some urgent independent NHS legal advice? £10,000 will be enough to get a top legal team on the case. Make a secure donation here:

Experts are warning there are at least two big issues to worry about:

- Will the health minister duck responsiblity for our NHS?
At the moment the buck stops with the minister, but it's not clear if the new plans would change that by abolishing the legal "duty to provide" a comprehensive health service. [2]

- Will the new plans mean that private companies can use European competition law to start a gradual break up of the NHS by making sure that competition on price is what matters - not the quality of the the health care patients receive? [3]

Expert legal advice is the best way for us to get to the bottom of how real these threats are. It will help us make informed choices about the next phase of our campaign. And if big threats come to light, we can organise expert briefings for MPs before the next round of votes.

Help hire a crack legal team to protect our NHS:

We’ve done so much together in the past few months to protect our NHS. We’ve signed petitions, we’ve emailed and phoned our MPs, we’ve organised local events. We clubbed together to pay for hard hitting adverts in the papers.

Together, we played a key role in stopping the government forcing through their original plans. Now we can work together to make sure the new plans aren’t rushed into law without facing proper scutiny.

£10,000 will be enough to fund a thorough investigation by independent legal experts. Can you make a secure donation now?

Thanks for getting involved.

Johnny, Hannah, Marie, David, Cian, Becky and the 38 Degrees team

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