Hannah Dewhirst

On the evening before MPs’ final vote on the Health and Care Bill, EveryDoctor headed to Parliament to make our message loud and clear: #ScrapNHSBill.

As MPs prepare to vote for the third and final time on the Health and Care Bill today, we headed down to the Houses of Parliament last night to share our #ScrapNHSBill message with them. 

Earlier in the evening our Chief Executive Dr Julia Patterson and our Head of Policy and Legal Dr Megan Smith delivered a public #ScrapNHSBill webinar; an updated version of a briefing we’d given to more than 80 MPs and staffers back in April. Hundreds of people tuned in live to hear our brief history of NHS privatisation and how this Health and Care Bill will accelerate it. 

You can catch up with the recording on our YouTube channel here, and we’re happy to share the accompanying briefing document, which deep dives into all the details, with EveryDoctor Members and Supporters too. Please just get in touch with us via email at campaigns@everydoctor.org.uk 

We’ve been running our #ScrapNHSBill campaign for several months now, and this was the biggest night so far. Back in the summer we mobilised over 12,000 people to contact their MP when the Bill had its second reading in July. In September we launched our Crowdfunder and reached out to every MP multiple times, resulting in dozens of meetings to scope out the possibility of assisting politicians in setting up an All Party Parliamentary Group on NHS privatisation. 

In October, we ran YouGov polls to highlight the lack of public awareness of how much of the NHS’ budget already goes to private companies (7-11%), and how only 15% of people support private companies sitting on Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) - just one of the many destructive changes this Bill will bring about. Then this month we started reaching out to Peers in the House of Lords, and hired an ad van to tour the London headquarters of eight private healthcare companies to raise awareness of how much damage privatisation is already doing to the NHS. All building up to today - when MPs will vote for the third and final time on the Health and Care Bill. 

These new Integrated Care Boards will do untold damage. Allowed to decide how much to spend, and with the power to award contracts without advertising, the newly formed 42 regions in England these boards will sit across will further fragment the NHS. This Bill will also centralise more power in the hands of the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, and, if passed, will remove the statutory duty for any public body to arrange secondary care (hospital services). 

The Health and Care Bill offers nothing to support the current NHS workforce who have given their all over the last two years. It lacks any strategy to recruit new staff to fill the 93,000+ vacancies the NHS faces, and provides no additional funding to clear the list of 5.7 million patients waiting for treatment in England alone. 

So, what will this Bill do? Accelerate NHS privatisation. That’s why we went to Parliament to make our demand clear: #ScrapNHSBill.

Please do everything you can to help us spread the word today. Contact your MP, re-share our content with the hashtag #ScrapNHSBill on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and if you can please chip in to our crowdfunder. So that no matter what the vote result, we can keep fighting to halt + reverse NHS privatisation beyond tonight, beyond this Bill and into 2022, because the vast majority of the public do not want NHS privatisation. 

In the next stage of this campaign we hope to bring together NHS staff, local communities, organisations and businesses who care about patients and are opposed to NHS privatisation. We’ll build an interactive digital map to help build the movement. Most people do not want NHS privatisation; please help EveryDoctor to join up the dots and empower us all to fight back 💙 bit.ly/Fund-ScrapNHSBill 

Every doctor matters. Every voice counts.
Join our movement today.