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999 Call for the NHS

A grassroots NHS campaign. Not affiliated to any of the political parties.

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By 999 Call for the NHS, Mar 7 2019 06:09PM


999 Call for the NHS is urging everyone to write to their MP to support NHS EDM #2013 which is an Early Day Motion called a “Prayer” Motion. It’s the only type of motion that can annul and stop secondary legislation.


This is urgent because the Department of Health has “quietly” introduced secondary legislation, in the form of a Statutory Instrument, to make major changes to NHS regulations that will damage the way in which GP/Primary Care and Commissioning works - and of course it will not benefit patients or staff.


We are asking MPs to use parliamentary procedure to call this legislation into question and annul the Statutory Instrument


Please visit our Prayer Motion page to find a LETTER TO MY MP template and more information. This is urgent we have until March 24th to get this annulled. It can be done.



Secondary legislation? What the Duck is all that about then?


In the light of raised eyebrows and lots of questions since we launched the Prayer Motion campaign - this blog post explains what secondary legislation is, when it was created and how it has been used and abused since it was introduced in the Statutory Instruments Act 1946.


The Parliament UK website says that:


Secondary legislation is law created by ministers (or other bodies) under powers given to them by an Act of Parliament - the Statutory Instruments Act 1946. It  is used to fill in the details of Acts (primary legislation). These details provide practical measures that enable the  law to be enforced and operate in daily life. 


Most secondary legislation is created, 'made and laid' as a Statutory Instrument.


Statutory Instruments (SI) were intended as a device to allow Ministers to make minor updates and amend existing Bills without bothering the House of Commons (or indeed any part of parliament) - allowing ministers to deal with localised and/or minor issues and changes to law without time-wasting debates in the Commons.


That’s the theory. The practice seems to be a bit different.





THE BIG CONCERN


The theory sounds like common sense, sort of... Until you notice the sharp upward trend in the use of Statutory Instruments through the Thatcher Years, into New Labour and the last ten years of this thing we call ‘Austerity’ government.


The red lines in the table below show a huge disparity between the number of actual ACTS (Primary Legislation passed in the Commons & Lords) and the number of Statutory Instruments.






By and large, because of the way they are made (the Negative Procedure), Statutory Instruments are only seen by ministerial committees. This means there is NO opposition oversight of or input into these legislative changes. In the case of this Statutory Instrument - it is not even required to have even nominal scrutiny by the cross-party-house Joint Committee of Statutory Instruments (Select Committee).


What’s the point of having Parliamentary opposition if it can’t oppose? To use the Mainstream Media’s classic line “where's the balance?” One party state, anyone?



Latest figures on the number of SI’s passing through unseen? The House of Commons Background Paper on Statutory Instruments (2016) says:


In the region of 3,500 SIs are made each year. Many SIs are not subject to any parliamentary procedure, and simply become law on the date stated. Whether they are subject to parliamentary procedure, and if so which one, is determined by the parent Act.


On top of this,look at the size of these Statutory Instruments. Given the number of pages, can they really contain only minor amendments and non-vital pieces of policy making?





According to Bracknell: “Statutory Instruments vary enormously in their scope from substantial pieces of legislation to considerable numbers of orders temporarily restricting traffic on particular local roads.”

The full easy-to-read Bracknell report is here: https://vdocuments.site/acts-and-statutory-instruments.html


So we have to ask - are Statutory Instruments now a way of changing Acts and regulations without Parliamentary debate and proper scrutiny?


If so much paperwork filled with items, appendices and addendums is passing through the corridors of parliament unseen by most MPs and Lords, is it any wonder that we are crying out “Democracy? What Democracy?”


This concern applies with a vengeance to Statutory Instrument 2019 No.248 The Amendments Relating to the Provision of Integrated Care Regulations 2019. It contains pages and pages of guff.


You can see for yourself - and pay special attention to PART 9 & 10.



It's a good job there is an Explanatory Memorandum to SI 2019#248 - be warned it’s uncomfortable reading but at least it’s in an English most MPs and members of the public can understand - if they were given the chance to read it of course.






If you haven't already please help make this happen. Don't be confused by Parliamentary Procedure.


Write to your MP from our Prayer Motion Page


Many thanks.












By 999 Call for the NHS, Nov 14 2018 05:45PM

So Matt Hancock, Health Secretary has told the Health Service Journal today that the government "is not going to hand (Integrated Care Contracts) to the big private healthcare companies". And that he was hoping for cross-party "buy-in" for changes to current NHS Laws, and was "absolutely up for" seeking to agree proposals with the Labour Party.


Well he would wouldn't he? Let's hope the Labour Party can agree to disagree with him on that one. Too often in recent years we have seen the traps of the reasonable compromising middle of the road cross-party solution...


Sometimes the old ones are the best...




Right now Opposition MPs (yes, in theory we do still have them) need to be calling out the "Austerity -thinking" that Conservatives are using to destroy our public services and institutions and - more importantly - people's lives. Poverty levels are rising and even the UN has been in the UK investigating the effects of Austerity in creating yet more poverty in the UK.


Will the government take note? Dont hold your breath.


The HSJ reports that the government QUANGOS "NHS England and Improvement are expected to propose changes to the Health & Social Care Act 2012 later this year, in the NHS long-term plan, or early next year".


Our question about the new 10 Year Plan we keep hearing about is: What's a Quasi Autonomous Non- Governmental Organisation doing creating or proposing government policy? Has Parliament abdicated all responsibility for that role? This is especially worrying as a recent poll of MPs revealed that a shocking number of them didn't really understand the NHS England terminology and changes taking place - there was a "Knowledge Barrier" apparently.


We've learnt over the years NHS England are really good at Knowledge Barriers.



To deflect any opposition to his announcement, Hancock throws the worn out mantra "We do not want a big top-down reorganisation of the NHS". Ask any clinician, NHS Staff member and they will tell you their experience is NOTHING BUT continual 'Top Down' change, over and over.


Indeed the current restructuring and reconfigurations (you'll know them as closures, mergers and downgrades) that are being pushed through the 5 Year Forward View Sustainability & Transformation Partnerships and leading us to Integrated Care Systems are NOTHING BUT Top Down Re(DIS)Organisations.


And a major (albeit quiet) tool in this process is the the proposed Integrated Care Provider contract - don't forget its original name of the Accountable Care Organisation contract before Ben Bradley MP (Labour) helpfully pointed out to Jeremy Hunt at a Health Select Committee meeting that it was poor judgement to choose the title so directly connected to the USA heathcare model it is based on. Well done Ben.


Will the contract ONLY be given to NHS Organisations?


Labour are missing the point if that is the only question they feel qualified to ask.




Matt Hancock knows this. It's not just the matter of WHO the 5 or 10yr contract is given to. It's WHAT the contract is that is the crux of the matter.


For us the ICP (formerly the ACO) contract is WRONG. And we think (one reason we're returning to the Court of Appeal on the 20th November) the introduction of the contract is UNLAWFUL. Because it changes the funding mechanism of the NHS, the way in which providers will be paid, forcing them to change their behaviour by prioritising price, value and financial conditions over quality and excellence of care being offered to patients. Something that politicians were, time and again, promised WOULD NOT HAPPEN during debates when passing the awful 2012 Health & Social Care Act.


We are no fans of the HSCA 2012.


But the law is the law. If NHS England want to "work around it" and bypass it what is the point of having our parliamentary democracy?



There is no intention to have ICPs awarded to private healthcare providers


Hancock trumpets in one breath. All very well but... define 'NHS Organisation' and define 'private'. All private profit seeking health companies use the blue logo to hide behind and most of them have .nhs in their website URLs. They are technically the modern NHS - a series of providers not a unified network of coordinated services (you can see where the cry "it needs joining up" comed from).


In the next breath though Hancock changes his tune. He's got his eyes on the GP Federations and Super Hubs that are emerging.


"I don't want to rule out groups of GP practices coming forward and running integrated care, and GPs are largely private organisations".


Yet another cliched tired mantra beloved of the right-wing "Austerity thinkers". GPs didnt used to be private. They were self-employed but contracted to the NHS. They couldnt trade their patients on the stock market. But they can now as more of them are "encouraged to become Social Enterprises or Community Interest Companies - private business entities.


So it's clear to us that it is not just WHO is handed the 5 or 10yr contract (meaning even a change of government can't amend or retract. The question politicians should be asking is "WHAT IS THE CONTRACT that is being given?"


And WHAT are the consequences of this proposed contract?


By forcing NHS Providers to accept a fixed annual sum at the beginning of the year and to estimate their services ahead of actual delivery, based purely on financial risk not clinical need, NHS England are changing the focus and ethos of our NHS.


We're convinced this seemingly innocent looking contract hides a findamental attack on the core principle of the NHS - to provide high quality comprehensive healthcare for those in clincal need - regardless of social status and ability to pay.



That's one reason why we are marching back to the Court of Appeal. Join us if you can.


To find out more CLICK HERE



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