4th October 2011
Nearly 400 health experts, including many from Southampton, have signed an open letter to members of the House of Lords urging them to stop the Government's dangerous plans to reorganise and marketise the NHS.
Commenting on the letter's publication in today's Telegraph, Alan Whitehead MP said:
“Hundreds of leading health professionals, including many from Southampton, have signed this letter. This shows the extent of concern about these disastrous proposals among those who really know what they are talking about. It beggars belief that the Government talks about how much it wants to empower GPs, but when 400 GPs write to the Government explaining what a disaster their reorganisation will be, the Government ignores them all.
"I'll continue to work with local health workers on the frontline here in Southampton to do all we can to make the strongest possible case against this arrogant, wasteful and dangerous reorganisation scheme."
Alan voted against the Government's NHS and Social Care Bill in the Commons, but the Bill was carried through due to the votes of Conservatives and Liberal Democrat MPs. The Bill will now be debated in the House of Lords.
The full letter from local health experts to members of the Lords can be read below:
Dear Honourable Members of the House of Lords,
As public health doctors and specialists from within the NHS, academia and elsewhere, we write to express our concerns about the Health and Social Care Bill.
The Bill will do irreparable harm to the NHS, to individual patients and to society as a whole. It ushers in a significantly heightened degree of commercialisation and marketisation that will fragment patient care; aggravate risks to individual patient safety; erode medical ethics and trust within the health system; widen health inequalities; waste much money on attempts to regulate and manage competition; and undermine the ability of the health system to respond effectively and efficiently to communicable disease outbreaks and other public health emergencies.
While we welcome the emphasis placed on establishing a closer working relationship between public health and local government, the proposed reforms as a whole will disrupt, fragment and weaken the country’s public health capabilities.
The government claims that the reforms have the backing of the health professions. They do not. Neither do they have the general support of the public.
It is our professional judgement that the Health and Social Care Bill will erode the NHS’s ethical and cooperative foundations and that it will not deliver efficiency, quality, fairness or choice. We therefore request that you reject passage of the Health and Social Care Bill.
Dr John Middleton
Senior NHS Director of Public Health
Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones MBE
Director of Public Health, NHS Portsmouth
Dr David McCoy
Associate Director of Public Health, Inner North West London PCT
Professor Sir Michael Marmot
University College London
Professor Sir Andy Haines
Professor of Public Health & Primary Care, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Professor Martin McKee, CBE
Professor of European Public Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Professor Allyson Pollock
Professor of Public Health Research and Policy, Queen Mary, University of London
Dr Bobbie Jacobson OBE,
NHS Public Health Consultant
Professor John R Ashton, CBE
Direct of Public Health, Cumbria
Professor Rosalind Raine
Professor of Health Care Evaluation, University College London
Professor Alan Maryon-Davis
Hon Professor of Public Health, Kings College London and Immediate Past President of the UK Faculty of Public Health
Dr RA Coates
Consultant in Public Health Medicine, Southampton City PCT
Emeritus Professor, University of Southampton
Dr Steve George
Reader in Public Health, University of Southampton
Dr Andrew Mortimore
Director of Public Health, Southampton
Dr Anna Morris
Specialty Registrar in Public Health, NHS Hampshire
Professor Paul Roderick
Professor of Public Health, University of Southampton
Professor of Public Health Nutrition, Southampton University
Together with three hundred and seventy five other signatories, including twenty-six Directors of Public Health, more than a hundred consultant public health physicians and more than a hundred professors.
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