Jeremy Hunt needs to do the right thing and ditch new NHS competition regulations before competitive markets let rip across the NHS and staff morale crumbles still further, warns Britain’s biggest union, Unite.
Pressure is mounting on the government to strike out the new s75 regulations after one of the leading cheerleaders of Lansley’s reforms, Dr Michael Dixon, backed by 1,000 doctors, today warned against opening up the health service to more competition.
The warning comes in the wake of the publication of the annual NHS staff survey which reveals a massive 38 per cent of NHS staff reporting work-related stress as a result of bullying and threats of violence.
Unite fears that the government’s shambolic shake up of the NHS is taking its toll on hard working staff. It is urging every MP to sign a rarely used special form of Early Day Motion (1104) tabled by Labour with the support of the Green party and a clutch of Lib Dems, calling for the secondary legislation to be struck out.
Rachael Maskell, Unite head of health, said: “Hunt can no longer ignore the professionals. Attempts to sneak these regulations through have failed. He must now heed the warning of 1,000 doctors and one of the leading architects of the NHS reforms and scrap the s75 regulations.
“It is no coincidence that staff morale is crumbling – the government’s rush to privatise the NHS is tearing it apart before our very eyes and it is NHS staff and patients on the frontline, who are bearing the brunt of this destruction.
“Lib Dem MPs now have a chance to stop the government’s back door privatisation of the NHS, by adding their names to the growing list of members calling for the regulations to be struck out.
“Unite is urging hundreds of thousands of union members to write to their MPs calling for them to sign Early Day Motion 1104, tabled by Labour with the support of the Green party and rebel Lib Dems.”
The regulations, which were laid before parliament by the government last week (13 February) under section 75 of the Health & Social Care Act 2012 appear to dramatically extend competition and force ‘compulsory competitive markets’ on the NHS.
Note to editors:
Link to the Early Day Motion 1104
Link to Unite's s75 action – email your MP
For further information contact Chantal Chegrinec, Unite communications officer, on 07774 146 777
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey