Make your voice heard before the Lords Committee publishes its conclusions. This is urgent and important. There is now serious discussion, yet again, of creating a Royal (or other) commission with cross-party support. You can read why we are opposed to any such move here. The last 30 years of incremental changes to the NHS shows that there already is a worrying consensus on the NHS, from large sections of all parties. And it isn't protecting the NHS as a public service. Instead it is driving the support for the 5 Year Forward View, privatisation and the move to insurance based payments.
The Lords Committee looking at the long-term sustainability of the NHS first met in March last year. There was an appeal for written evidence for a deadline of 20 September. These were published in October, including NHA's submission. The committee has also heard oral evidence from a range of different sources.
The list of contributors is available on the Lords Committee website. Not one of the health campaign groups who submitted evidence was called to parliament. The evidence stage of the committee is concluded. It is now writing its report and will publish its conclusion by 31 March 2017.
It is clear that the committee will not include any findings on public service unless we force them to, so it is up to us all to hold them to account. In November 2015 we were a leading part of the campaign to respond to the NHS Mandate which produced a record number of submissions from the public. NHS England's website crashed with the sheer number of campaigners submitting their responses.
Now, we need to do it again. Please write to the Lords Committee copying and pasting the letter below, which is based on a resume of our submission (which you can also find as a downloadable pdf by clicking here) or writing your own. Share it with your campaign groups and let's make sure the Lords are left in no doubt about what we want.
You can email them or you can send in your letter to
Select Committee on the Long-Term Sustainability of the NHS
House of Lords
Dear Lord Patel
The Lord's Committee reviewing the Long-term financial sustainability of the NHS is due to report on 31 March 2017.
On 18 October 2016 submissions to the committee were published which included a number of appeals for the committee to consider a return to a publicly provided NHS as the most efficient and effective service possible.
I am disappointed to note that no oral evidence has been called for to support these submissions.
As a member of the public, I insist that your committee demonstrates that they have given full and proper consideration to the restoration of a publicly owned, publicly provided, publicly accountable and publicly funded NHS when they produce their report.
I therefore demand that the Lords Committee
- confirms that their primary objective is to maintain the NHS as a comprehensive, universal, accessible, high quality, equitable service
evaluates the future of the NHS within an evidence based framework which includes a full publicly provided service as a substantive option
considers that issues of sustainability, defined as providing a service within set financial constraints, are best addressed by public ownership and provision with full public funding
considers that the costs of marketisation, privatisation and competition within the NHS are a barrier to maintaining efficiency, integration and cost control within a public service
If the above are not taken into consideration the public will have every right to consider your commission has betrayed their interest.
(NHA /campaign group member)