Jul 20th, 2011
NHS: Let’s get to the bottom of Lansley’s Muddle
What do Andrew Lansley’s latest plans mean for our NHS? Privatisation by stealth? A slippery slope towards full-blown competition? The end of the health ministers’ “duty to provide” a health service? The truth is it’s murky: his latest NHS proposals are a muddle of over 180 amendments.
Our massive public outcry, along with big concerns from doctors, nurses and other experts, forced the government to pause their original NHS plans. Since then they’ve hastily rewritten big chunks of the legislations, and made all kinds of reassuring statements.
But there’s a risk that behind the warm words, long-term threats to our health service remain. We need to work together to make sure dangerous changes aren’t slipped through in the small print whilst public attention is elsewhere.
If enough of us club together, we can hire independent legal experts to go through Lansley’s plans with a fine toothcomb. We can identify any hidden threats – before it’s too late to stop them.
Can you chip in to fund some urgent independent NHS legal advice? £10,000 will be enough to get a top legal team on the case. Make a secure donation here:
Experts are warning there are at least two big issues to worry about:
– Will the health minister duck responsiblity for our NHS? At the moment the buck stops with the minister but it’s not clear if the new plans would change that by abolishing the legal ” duty to provide” a comprehensive health service.
– Will the new plans mean that private companies can use European competition law to start a gradual break up of the NHS by making sure that competition on price is what matters – not the quality of the the health care patients receive?
Expert legal advice is the best way for us to get to the bottom of how real these threats are. It will help us make informed choices about the next phase of our campaign. And if big threats come to light, we can organise expert briefings for MPs before the next round of votes.
Help hire a crack legal team to protect our NHS:
We’ve done so much together in the past few months to protect our NHS. We’ve signed petitions, we’ve emailed and phoned our MPs, we’ve organised local events. We clubbed together to pay for hard hitting adverts in the papers.
Together, we played a key role in stopping the government forcing through their original plans. Now we can work together to make sure the new plans aren’t rushed into law without facing proper scutiny.
£10,000 will be enough to fund a thorough investigation by independent legal experts. Can you make a secure donation now?
Who will provide the legal opinion?
We’ve teamed up with public interest lawyer Peter Roderick and the group behind dutytoprovide.net to organise a legal team to investigate if the “duty to provide”. Harrison Grant solicitors and the barrister Stephen Cragg will lead the investigation. Harrison Grant are experienced in providing legal advice to campaigning groups, charities and NGOs and Stephen Cragg has extensive expertise in health and public law. Once that is finished, we will commission experts to start a similar investigation into competition in the NHS
How much will it cost?
Legal costs can explode but we’re confident we’re getting a good deal. The £10,000 will enable the experts to start work straight away and should fund their entire investigation. However, if more money is needed or if not all donations are spent all donors will be notified by e-mail. Full details of our donations policy are available on the website here: http://38degrees.org.uk/pages/donations-to-38-degrees
Why not get pro-bono free legal advice?
Because we can’t be sure it will be delivered in time to make a difference. £10,000 is a lot of money. But for this type of legal work it’s cheap and by paying these experts we can make sure it’s delivered quickly.
When will the legal opinions be ready?
Hopefully within the next month – the key deadline is the next set of crunch votes in parliament currently scheduled for early September.
I’m a lawyer – I can help
Great! Please get in touch. You can contact the 38 Degrees office here: http://www.38degrees.org.uk/contact-us