Skip to content

NHS Bill

You can take Action here to ask your local MPs and election candidates to reinstate the NHS!        



Bill authors Allyson Pollock and Peter Roderick with Margaret Greenwood MP

The NHS Reinstatement Bill was successfully presented in the House of Commons ON 13 July by Margaret Greenwood, Labour MP for Wirral West. Although opposed by Philip Davies, Tory MP for Shipley, he did not call for a vote and so it was introduced by acclamation. A second reading was scheduled for 4th November 2016.

The 11 named supporters of the Bill consisted of 9 Labour MPs, plus one Green and one Lib Dem – as follows in the order out read out by Margaret at the end of the debate:

Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion
Dawn Butler, Labour MP for Brent Central
Stella Creasy, Labour MP for Walthamstow
Nic Dakin, Labour MP for Scunthorpe
Peter Dowd, Labour MP for Bootle
Mike Kane, Labour MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East
Liz McInnes, Labour MP for Heywood and Middleton
Yasmin Qureshi, Labour MP for Bolton South East
Marie Rimmer, Labour MP for St Helens and Whiston
Stephen Twigg, Labour MP for Liverpool West Derby
John Pugh, Lib Dem MP for Southport

Unlike the previous two Bills, the named supporters did not include SNP or Plaid Cymru MPs.

The Bill was presented with the same long title as the previous two Bills, and must now be published in full before the second reading. 

Outside the Commons, Tony O’Sullivan organised a spirited rally which was well attended, considering the short notice. Diane Abbot, the new shadow health spokesperson, came along and said she supported the principles of the Bill. Margaret Greenwiod came out to speak to the rally after the debate and explained what had happened. Rachael Maskell, Labour MP for York Central, who laid the foundation for today within the Labour Party before she joined the shadow front bench, also came out.

The debate seemed reasonably well attended by Labour MPs, including Jeremy Corbyn. Ken Clarke, Tory Health Minister from 1988-1990 at the start of the internal market, also attended.
Because the Bill was introduced as a Ten Minute Rule Bill, only the introducing MP and one opposing MP were allowed to speak.

All in all, today was a step forward in that the Bill was not voted down, was presented by a Labour MP, has 9 Labour MPs as named supporters who were not named supporters on either of the previous two Bills, and it seems now to have the support of the Labour front bench. 
Report from Peter Roderick  drafter of the Bill

nhs bill 11.2.16 (71)
Rally outside Parliament by Health Campaigners, organised by Keep Our NHS Public
On 11 March the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign supported the rallies organised by Keep Our NHS Public and other health campaigning organisations outside the Department of Health and Parliament in support of the Bill’s second reading – see below. 

‘The Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign was extremely disappointed that the majority of Labour MPs did not attend the debate on the NHS Bill on 11 March and that the Labour Party did not support it.’
Read full statement…

Click photo to link to excellent debate in House of Commons – it was only 17 minutes due to Tory filibustering, but excellent points made by Caroline Lucas MP, SNP MPs and a few Labour MPs.
The fight to raise the BIll with the Labour Party will continue and the campaign around the Bill will continue to push for a return to a fully publicly owned NHS

caroline lucs (2)
A description of Friday 11 March business in the Commons;
A graphical representation of the bill’s progress through Parliament;
The TV recording of the Bill discussion today in the Commons;
Hansard text:

Brief interview by Save Lewisham with Peter Roderick
Peter Roderick is the lawyer who has drafted the bill, together with Allyson Pollock, in consultation with a wide range of clinicians, organisations and campaigners.

First presentation of NHS Reinstatement Bill
A cross party group of MPs including Caroline Lucas (Greens), Jeremy Corbyn (Labour), Andrew George (Liberal). Groups of health campaigners including the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign, KONP, Call 999 NHS, Save St Helier Hospital Campaign, and Ealing Hospital campaign came to show their support for the bill. Good article by Caroline Lucas

See also

Key figures involved in the NHS Reinstatement Bill

The NHS Reinstatement Bill (click here to view or download) has been drafted with the aim that it would be included in the Queen’s Speech of the incoming Government following the general election of May 2015. Through the provisions of the Bill, the NHS Reinstatement campaign shows just how very far the NHS has gone down the road to privatisation, with a deeply entrenched market set of mechanisms, and the Monitor-enforced putting out of NHS services to competitive tender. Already, contracts worth £billions have been placed with the private sector and 33% of current tenders are going to private providers (and 45% to non-NHS providers). Many people are not yet aware of the extent to which the NHS has been lost as a publicly owned and managed national system of health care for all. So we are adding our voice to the public campaign to reinstate the NHS and we seek debate with and support from current MPs and prospective parliamentary candidates from any persuasion, including importantly the Labour Party, for this new legislation. The NHS was enshrined in law – the NHS Act 1946. Since then, there have been dozens of Acts affecting it – especially over the last 25 years. The most radical of these laws – the Health and Social Care Act, 2012 – abolished the legal duty on the Government to provide core NHS services in England, such as hospitals, nurses and ambulances; and it has taken marketisation to a new level at dramatic pace. There is a need for new law to reinstate that legal duty, to stop marketisation, and to re-establish public bodies. Without an Act of Parliament, the process now rapidly underway will continue and the NHS will be irrevocably lost. Promises by politicians, statements in manifestoes, policy documents and the like are all very well. But they are not laws, and it is law that will guarantee our NHS. It is strong campaigning that will ensure that MPs take action. Key figures involved in drafting the Bill are Allyson Pollock, Lord David Owen and lawyer Peter Roderick, joined by individuals from major campaigns including the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign.

What does the Bill say?
The Bill proposes to:

  • reinstate the Government’s legal duty to provide core NHS services in England
  • re-establish an accountable structure for the NHS in England with public bodies and public accountability
  • abolish competition and restrict the role of commercial companies
  • abolish the purchaser-provider split

Conscious of the understandable fear of a massive reorganization, the bill nevertheless proposes that we have to take measures that will save the NHS by reinstating the above measures. The Bill draws on some of the best examples of NHS administration over its history, retains some features of the reforms laid out in the Health and Social Care Act 2012, and would be implemented on a timescale determined by the Secretary of State and Parliament. The Bill to Reinstate the NHS is not primarily about structural reorganisation. Rather, its aims are: (1) to win back the accountability for the NHS of the Government, elected by the people; (2) to address the current levels of disorganisation and to minimise fragmentation within the health sector; and (3) to alter the functions of many existing organisations to make them fit for purpose to achieve the first two.

What you can do

  • Find out more about the campaign here
  • See the Q&A section here also clarified are the differences between the Efford Bill (whose passage through Second Reading we welcome) and the Reinstatement Bill.
  • The draft of the NHS Reinstatement Bill has been published and will be revised shortly in the light of consultation>

The campaign hopes that the Bill will be taken up in the new parliament. Thousands of people have approached their candidates and we are keeping a record of what MPs say in response to the approach. Please check out your local prospective parliamentary candidates here. Let the campaign know what they say and if you have engaged them in debate or if you want us to follow it up. Tony O’Sullivan  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *