When Conservatives were struggling to gain Liberal Democrat support for the Health and Social Care Bill, they reassured their coalition partners that commissioning GPs would be free from top-down interference and would not need to put every service out to competitive tender.
Now secondary legislation (or ‘regulations’), published just as the Health and Social Care Act became law, provide the details of how the Act will work in practice: shockingly, MPs voted on the Act without this information. The regulations contradict the Conservatives’ previous assurances about the NHS being safe in their hands, and show their true intentions – to turn the NHS into a market where competition is enforced and privatisation becomes inevitable.
For a detailed account of how and why the NHS is being privatised (and how these regulations are an important step towards this), see tinyurl.com/cdx3pb7 . You will need to put aside over an hour to view this video, but it provides hugely important information about what is happening to our NHS, who is responsible, and what privatised health care will mean for us. Alternatively, an edited transcript of this account can be found at http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f1848. You can also visit http://www.politics.co.uk/comment-analysis/2013/04/18/comment-the-conspiracy-to-privatise-the-nhs for a broader view of how the NHS is being privatised, and where the regulations fit in this.
While most of the legislation is now in place now for the privatisation of the NHS, there are still ways to resist this. For ideas, see our section http://www.patients4nhs.org.uk/what-can-i-do/