Liberal Democrat campaigners will be taking an Emergency Motion to their Spring Conference on March 10-11.
The motions will say:
- the excellent work by Liberal Democrat peers in scrutinising and removing some of the most damaging elements of the Health & Social Care Bill at Report Stage in the House of Lords.
- the new amendments announced by Nick Clegg and Baroness Williams on February 28th to reduce the threat of US-style marketisation of healthcare posed by the competition clauses of the Bill.
Conference notes however that, despite these changes, the Government has failed to convince the public or NHS staff that the NHS will be improved by the Bill, and that since January 11th ever more health organisations and professional bodies have moved from critical engagement to outright opposition to the Bill
Conference further believes that:
- the implementation of the Bill will be deeply disruptive and distracting to efforts to achieve the unprecedented efficiency savings required of the NHS each year.
- the Bill will make essential re-structuring of hospital services and true integration of health and social care more difficult.
- the increasing opposition to the bill as it reaches its final stages, even among those who were formerly supportive, makes it clear that Andrew Lansley’s original Bill was so deeply flawed that it is not possible to make it fit for purpose through amendment.
Conference therefore calls on all Liberal Democrats to work together to achieve the withdrawal or defeat of this flawed and unpopular Bill and ensure that future reform:
- builds on those elements of the bill introduced by our parliamentarians that have gained wide support.
- guarantees an equitable, publicly accountable, universal and comprehensive health service as set out by Conference last Spring.
- excludes further unnecessary and disruptive top-down reorganisation as explicitly ruled out by the coalition agreement.
Voting Delegates can sign up to indicate their support of the motion here.