A bill that would restore the secretary of state for health to the prime role of being responsible for the running of the NHS has the support of Unite, the country’s largest union.
The National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) bill, due to be registered in the House of Lords today (Tuesday 29 January), would reinstate the health secretary’s legal duty to provide health services and subject all NHS bodies providing health services to ministerial direction.
Unite, which has more than 100,000 members in the health service, believes that this bill would dilute the strong privatisation agenda contained in the controversial Health and Social Care Act which became law last year.
Unite head of health Rachael Maskell said: “The brutal and rapid privatisation process of the NHS is becoming very apparent, as has been highlighted by the case of Hinchingbrooke hospital.
“This bill is vital as it would restore the legal primacy of the health secretary to the central role of being responsible for the services provided by the NHS, as was the case from the NHS’s inception in 1948 until last year.
“Unite will be campaigning strongly for this new bill which will restore the NHS as a universal service free at the point of delivery for all those in need – and not, as is now happening, the NHS being used as a brand under which the privatisation and break-up of services for profit can take place.”
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
- 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.