The Coalition's Health and Social Care Act is now being implemented (see paragraph on regulations below).
In November 2012 we met with a fresh group of local 38 degrees supporters who have come together as part of the national campaign to get the new Clinical Commissioning Groups to resist the outsourcing and privatisation of NHS services and together.
On 6th December 2012 we lobbied the Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group to request their support against privatisation of the NHS. We handed in a petition with almost 3000 local signatures. There was coverage in the Yorkshire Post http://bit.ly/VnSF83 , the Sheffield Star http://bit.ly/VrMOOM, The Postcode Gazette http://bit.ly/TKXrfC and on Radio Sheffield
In February the government slipped out regulations governing competition which read as if they will force all contracts to be competively tendered, thus completely marketising the NHS. We joined in the national protests about this by emailing the House of Lords and asking local MPs to intervene. See http://www.keepournhspublic.com/index.php. Unfortunately local and national lobbying was only able to secure amendments; a Lords motion on 24th April that the regulations should be annulled was lost.
On April 22nd, in company with Barnsley Save Our NHS and supporters elsewhere in South Yorkshire, we released an Open Letter to all South Yorkshire MPs asking them to stand up for the local NHS.
Following a national authorisation process in January 2013 the Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Groups CCG became fully authorised without conditions. The first tranche of Any Qualified Providers is all but completed; and, in England as a whole, more NHS contracts are being awarded to private providers, especially the large ones like SERCO and Virgin. Many provisions and regulations are still to be formulated, published and approved. Some of these will require a vote in parliament.
Opposition to the Act should continue: pressure needs to be kept on the Unions and Professional Associations to maintain the momentum they belatedly built up and on Labour to keep its pledge to repeal it.
Financial Pressure on the NHS will continue remorselessly. This will increase the burden on staff and make the NHS still more vulnerable to competition.
However THE NHS IS NOT KILLED OFF YET. Resistance to the Lansley/Hunt treatment just has to take new forms. There are now regional links with groups across Yorkshire opposing the Act and NHS cuts within our Region and also nationally. The national Keep Our NHS Public organisation (to which SSONHS is affilitated) will be a key link.
Video of Lib Dem Conference Protest in Sheffield
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