News of the government’s forced U-turn on the s75 NHS competition regulations is a massive victory in the fight to save the NHS, but Unite warned that the fight to stop the health service sell off must continue.
Unite, Britain’s biggest union, says that attention must turn to ensuring that the new wording of the s75 regulations is 'bullet proof' and stops competitive markets sneaking into the NHS and private sector companies cherry picking the most profitable services.
The union cites the experience of the government’s ‘pause and listen’ exercise during the passage of the Health and Social Care bill last year - when the public and healthcare professionals were promised no privatisation - as good reason to be cautious and to remain vigilant until positive anti-privatisation rules are secured.
Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary, said: “The government’s climbdown over the s75 regulations is a great victory and shows what can be achieved when people come together to fight for the NHS.
“David Cameron and the government’s health team have broken so many NHS promises that the echo of them shattering is still ringing very loudly in our ears.
“This government broke the trust of the nation with the Health and Social Care Act so we have no reason to believe it stay true to its word now – that’s why Unite will remain vigilant.
“We will be keeping a very close eye on the government to make sure that the amended regulations are absolutely bulletproof. Campaigning must go on because we are now in a fight for the life of the NHS.”
The regulations, which were laid before parliament by the government on 13 February 2013 under section 75 of the Health & Social Care Act 2012 dramatically extend competition and force ‘compulsory competitive markets’ on the NHS.
Note to editors:
Link to the Early Day Motion 1104:
Link to Unite 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