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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, Apr 19 2018 07:00AM

Blue skies and sunshine reflected the buoyant mood of campaigners as around a thousand gathered outside the Leeds Art Gallery on the morning of Saturday 14th April. Groups from across the region came to show their love and concern for the NHS and march through the streets of Leeds.


The energy and commitment of NHS defenders shone through in their voices and colourful banners.


At the rally after the march, Leeds KONP generously gave 999 Call for the NHS the next-to-the-last slot in the speeches, to remind everyone about our upcoming Judicial Review -just down the road at Leeds High Court on Tuesday 24th April. The rally ended with a speech by Labour MP, Alex Sobel.





As the march wound its way through the city centre, 999 Call for the NHS campaigners handed out hundreds of invitations to our Judicial Review and rally on 24th April,





Talking to passersby was surprisingly easy as there was genuine interest in our case. We were able to explain clearly we are opposing the new draft contract that NHS England have proposed - which we think will lead to denial of care and a two tier system. People nodded and asked about NHS England’s attempts to “workaround” the law by encouraging Accountable and Integrated Care without asking Parliament to legislate for this massive change to our NHS and social care services.


We were encouraged by the enthusiasm of campaigners to support our rally outside the courts before we go in to observe the proceedings. Campaigners from the local area and from Lincolnshire, Lancashire, Teeside and London have all made it known they want to be in Leeds to support our case because it really does affect all of us. A Leeds choir has volunteered to sing outside the court to welcome campaigners and public.




Our Accountable Care Duck helped to explain the technical aspects of our Judicial Review and aroused a lot of curiosity. ACO DUCK helped confirm to people that no matter what NHS England, NHS Providers, local councils and other partners call their collaborations to form new models of care - if it walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, it’s a duck! They can give it any name they like to disguise it but the move to a Whole Population Annual Payment system like the one contained in the draft Accountable Care Organisation model contract means only one thing - a drastic reduction in care and a further move to a two-tier health service where those that can afford it will turn to private health and the rest of us will have to do without.


Leeds KONP member and NHS paediatrician John Puntis reminded campaigners to tell their local councillors and candidates in the May 3rd Council elections that they put a stop to the setting up of Accountable/Integrated Care systems.


Many councillors of all political persuasions do not appear to really understand the grave situation they are allowing to develop as Councils endorse and advance the implementation of Integrated Care Systemsor they feel unable to take a stand because of party agendas. We share this call in our #NSH4ALL campaign, calling on Councillors to put a stop to Accountable/Integrated Care Systems or Partnerships. It is vital we do not allow local democracy to be ignored.




The day in Leeds was a positive one as it was clear that all our efforts and those of campaigners in repeating clear messages about the dangers of Accountable Care were beginning to resonate and be understood. It left us looking forward to our day in Court on Tuesday the 24th April and seeing familiar faces gathered outside joining forces to protect our NHS as a comprehensive healthcare service for those who need it.


Find out more about our Rally outside the Courts on Tuesday 24th. 9 - 10am

#Justice4NHS Rally


Oh... Rosa? Well it was Roas Luxemburg who said this. Let's keep doing it as loudly as we can.





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