(acknowledgements to Romayne Phoenix)
Below is a KONP produced and Checked template letter to encourage members to HAND WRITE lobby letter to Lords pre 24TH APRIL - please consider passing this on
Dear Activist, Here is a shorter letter for you to use in lobbying peers. Please write this letter by hand or send by email having put your name and address, dating and adding anything you want to say personally.
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Re: Debate on 24.4.13 on new regulations (S!500)
Please make time to attend the Lords for this important debate and vote to annul these regulations. They will not give the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) the freedom to commission services that they (and members of parliament) were promised during the passage of the Health and Social Care Act 2012. Lord Howe said
‘ … commissioners would not have to create markets against the interests of patients. Clinicians will be free to commission services in the way they consider best. We intend to make it clear that commissioners will have a full range of options and that they will be under no legal obligation to create new markets, particularly where competition would not be effective in driving high standards and value for patients. As I have already explained, this will be made absolutely clear through secondary legislation and supporting guidance as a result of the Bill’. (Lords, 6.3.12)
But this is not what has happened. There was such an outcry over earlier regulations that the government withdrew them, laying SI 500 as the substitute. The words are softer but the impact the same.
- CCGs will be forced to put all new services out to tender which is costly
- The wording is ambiguous and may lead to legal challenges
- Law trumps guidance so do not be fooled by reassurance about guidance
- The timing has left insufficient time for the public to contact peers
- Peers have to work on this during their recess, reducing their effectiveness as a second chamber
- There is no need for these regulations to be rushed through now
You will have received detailed letters analysing the meaning of the regulations and the legal opinions which confirmed my fears so I will not reiterate these here.
I am also concerned about the considerable number of peers who have connections with the health care ‘industry’ and who voted in favour of the Act. I feel they should abstain rather than vote for these regulations which will effectively lock the NHS into a real market under EU law and that US companies are ready to exploit.
Please take this opportunity to annul the regulations so that they can be rewritten to reflect in law what Lord Howe said to you on 6.3.12
For Lib Dems Last sentence before signature
Remember that the H&SC Act was not in the Coalition agreement and that voting to annul these regulations will not affect that agreement. You have an opportunity to ensure that rewritten regulations reflect your own party’s policy and protect the NHS as an important social endeavour beloved by the English people.