The backlash has been tremendous.
On 13 February the Government published regulations that would force the NHS to open up almost every part of its service to competition from any provider that wants to bid for the work.
Petitions gathered thousands of signatures. Both Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs have put down Early Day Motions.
By 28 February Tim Farron, the Lib Dem president, acknowledged that the regulations were not acceptable and needed to be changed. However, on the very same day Lord Howe the Conservative Health Minister in the Lords wrote a letter saying that the regulations were fine and no change was necessary.
Today Liberal Democrat Health Minister Norman Lamb announced that the regulations would be re-written.
But the clock is ticking. If the regulations are not withdrawn they automatically pass into law.
There is to be a debate in Parliament on 18 March.
It is, in my view, vital that we maintain the pressure.
I have therefore submitted an emergency motion to Liberal Democrat Conference in Brighton 8-10 March.
“Competition rules to be imposed on the NHS
that on 13 Feb 2013 the government published ‘Regulations on procurement, patient choice and competition’ that will determine the way the Health and Social Care Act 2012 is carried out.
that these regulations make it clear that promises on the place of competition in the NHS have not been delivered.
that these promises were made by Nick Clegg and Shirley Williams to Liberal Democrats,
by Lord Howe to Liberal Democrat Peer Tim Clement Jones and
by Andrew Lansley to prospective Clinical Commissioning Groups.
“Conference further notes that the party has:
expressed concerns about fragmentation and privatisation in the NHS (March 2008)
drawn attention to the many undesirable effects likely to arise from the proposals in the NHS White Paper (March 2011)
and declined to support the Health and Social Care Bill (March 2012).
“Conference believes that the health of the UK is most effectively and efficiently served by an integrated, co-ordinated, co-operative, public service NHS.
“Conference therefore resolves that in view of the failure to deliver on promises made and reassurances given The National Health Service (Procurement, Patient Choice and Competition) Regulations 2013: made under sections 75 to 77 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 should be rejected.”
Many thanks to all of you who signed my petition.
After I set mine up 38 degrees set up their own petition which has already had more than 200,000 signatures. I am therefore asking anyone who has not yet signed, to sign the 38 degree petition not my own.