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999 Call for the NHS

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By Jenny Shepherd, 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 Jenny Shepherd, Sep 6 2017 05:12PM

Thanks to Deborah Harrington

999 Call for the NHS member and founder of Public Matters



It's true. I'm sick of Wellness.


I am sick of smiling NHS executives, Clinical Commissioning Group leaders, Think Tank Thought Leaders blathering on - as they always do once they've found a nice catchy soundbite - about the NHS being redesigned as a wellness service, not a sickness service.


This is a phrase I am sick of hearing. It's tosh! Utter daft contemptuous tosh!!


It implies that the NHS was set up only to treat - and perhaps to treat unnecessarily - rather than to cure and keep people healthy. Uh...




It implies that doctors are investing in keeping us sick.


Uh...



It completely ignores the fact that Bevan was minister for health and housing and in that post-war period considered that sound, secure and healthy housing would do more in the long run for the nation's overall health than anything else.


It ignores a comprehensive vaccination programme brought in to protect the nation's children from common diseases which could lead to death or long term health problems.


It ignores the investment of time and creativity of clinical staff in shortening the amount of time patients have to stay in hospital.


It ignores the contraceptive pill, ante-natal care, smoking cessation programmes, sexual health clinics and routine cervical smear tests.


It ignores the extraordinary development of prosthetics which enable those who would previously been forced to live with quite restrictive physical conditions to be limited instead only as far as their imaginations will allow them to go - as the existence of Prof Stephen Hawking so beautifully demonstrates.


In short it ignores all the real efforts (many in the process of being dismantled) that have been made to ensure health rather than illness is the norm for the majority of the population. But the primary purpose of the NHS is to look after our illnesses and disabilities. Because that is the core of healthcare and is exactly the part of healthcare that so many people could not afford to access before the creation of the NHS.


So I may start to scream next time I hear the 'it's a wellness not a sickness' meaningless drivel. It's a commonly used phrase by think tanks, NHS England flunkeys, etc to validate the changes they are making. Did I say changes? Drastic cuts and damaging harm disguised as 'improvement' and propped up with positive claptrap smoke and mirrors.


They all fall into the same sick bucket, sorry- "well vessel". Promoting individual responsibility for our health (assuming we can all afford the delivered organic box or the weekly supply of quinoa and spirulina) they calmy congratulat the NHS of old but then move quickly to:


"The world has changed. If it were now we wouldn't design the NHS like this. It was designed to treat illness, but what we need in our modern changing world is a wellness service that focuses on how people can keep themselves well. We now have the opportunity to change that."



It is Grade 'A' BS. More Smoke and Mirrors to mask the current and future denial of care in our new Not-the-NHS through the 5 Year Forward View STPs, Vanguards, Success Regimes and any number of bamboozling corporate disruptive devices.


It is a common claim of those that are cutting and selling off the NHS, that it's ok that they're doing it because we are going to have what is known as (another Americanisation) Health PROMOTION - wonderful behaviour change programmes that will empower people with long term illnesses like heart, respiratory, diabetes etc to change their lifestyles and take up their beds and walk. It will have to be their beds because they are not going to find one in a hospital anywhere near them.


They like to say it is Prevention.


But it isn't preventive health as we know it - which is mass public programmes like clean water, sewerage disposal, clean air (the chance would be a fine thing, vaccinations etc.) It is a very different beast because it is a neocon framing of the problem of ill health that conveniently blames those suffering from it for their own illness, cos they have the wrong behaviour and the wrong lifestyle.


Along the way, a number of well meaning people who see the sense in tackling the structural social and economic and environmental causes of ill health have got caught up in the absurd rhetoric about needing to change the NHS from an illness service to a wellness service.


So while housing and education and air quality control and clean water are essential to good health along with adequate food labelling and more they are not 'the NHS'. They are the responsibitiy of other government departments working in tandem with the NHS. Coordinated. Integrated. Not morphed into a one stop shop for society's needs.


If you are anywhere near me at that moment when some smarmy smart-suit smiles on the stage and repeats "I think we should call the NHS a Wellness Service" - then I apologise to your ear drums in advance.


To read a more about Health Prevention vs. Promotion visit PUBLIC MATTERS.




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