PHOTO OP: MPs and health workers back the bill to save...

PHOTO OP: MPs and health workers back the bill to save the NHS

17 November 2014
Health workers will join Labour’s shadow health secretary Andy Burnham in a photo opportunity outside parliament on Wednesday 19 November, ahead of the vote on Clive Efford’s bill to protect the NHS from privatisation.

WHEN: Wednesday 19 November 2014,14:30-15:00
WHERE: Old Palace Yard, London SW1 opposite the Houses of Parliament

The country’s leading health unions, including Unite, Unison, the GMB and Society of Radiographers (SoR) are urging MPs from across the political divide to ditch their differences and vote to save the NHS when Labour MP Clive Efford’s private member’s bill comes before the House of Commons on Friday 21 November.

The National Health Services (Amended Duties and Powers) bill is a step in the right direction to ridding the NHS of the worse parts of the government’s pro-privatisation Health and Social Care Act 2012, by rewriting the rules that force competitive tendering of NHS services.

The bill will restore the responsibility to the secretary of state for health to provide a comprehensive health service, free at the point of delivery and prevents foundation trusts from prioritising private income at the expense of NHS patients.

Over 20,000 people have signed the Unions Together petition calling on MPs to back the bill to take back our NHS.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “Senior Tories themselves admit that the £3 billion NHS shake-up has been their biggest mistake in government. This bill is a first step to righting that wrong by putting the founding principles of people not profit back at the heart of our NHS.

“David Cameron got it wrong – his destructive NHS reforms have flung open the doors to privatisation and enforced competition which is destroying our nation’s most treasured institution. The British voting public won’t forgive or forget if MPs fail to grasp this chance to ditch the worse parts of the Health and Social Care Act 2012.”

Dave Prentis Unison general secretary said:  "Cameron's Health and Social Care Act has caused huge damage to our NHS by selling off a range of vital services to private healthcare companies.

"Clive Efford's bill aims to put a halt to this shameful project by protecting the NHS from the ravages of competition law and rightly placing patient care before profits.

"The bill ensures that Britain’s most loved institution operates on its founding principles of a service that meets the needs of patients and is free at the point of delivery.

“It also protects the NHS from exploitative competition and shields the service from the damaging implications of TTIP and any other international trade agreements.

“The NHS is a key political area for the next general election. And now is the time for MPs in this coalition government to admit they got in wrong in 2012 and vote for this bill."

GMB general secretary Paul Kenny said: "The Health and Social Care Act stands as a testimony to the self-serving nature of this government. The lie at the heart of it was that it would give control of the NHS to clinicians and NHS staff, but section 75 puts commissioners under political pressure if they choose to favour the NHS over private providers.

“The legislation took away people’s right to expect the state to provide healthcare. Five more years of this government will see an end to the NHS, but there are many MP’s who want to stop that from happening. Clive Efford’s private member’s bill is trying to undo the most damaging aspects of this legislation and the GMB urges all MP’s to support it.”

Paul Bromley SoR Officer said “The SoR fully supports this bill and calls on those Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs who know in their hearts how destructive the passing of the Health and Care Act has been to the NHS, to show courage and vote with Labour in support of the bill.”


For further information please contact Unite campaigns officer Chantal Chegrinec on 07774 146 777

Note to editors:

The National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) bill is a private members’ bill promoted by Labour MP for Eltham, Clive Efford. Its second reading is in the House of Commons on Friday 21 November.

The bill can be viewed at

The bill seeks to repeal the most damaging aspects of the Health and Social Care Act. 
  • Return to the secretary of state the responsibility to guarantee comprehensive healthcare, free at the point of need. 
  • Put patient care before private profit, protecting our NHS from the competition-led race to the bottom opened up in the Health and Social Care Act. 
  • Limit the amount of income NHS trusts can make from private patients, ensuring NHS patients are not forced to the back of the queue behind paying customers. 
  • Give parliament sovereignty over the NHS so that any future treaties or trade agreements (like TTIP) would have to be debated and voted on in parliament before they can apply to the NHS. 
According to research by the NHS Support Federation, since 2013 when the Health and Social Care Act 2012 came into effect, over £7 billion’s worth of NHS contracts has been put out to competitive tender. Of this, 56 per cent of the contracts put out to tender have been won by private providers.

Notes to editors: 

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.