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E-Petition 205106 "Stop the privatisation of NHS services"

Published Friday, April 20, 2018

This House of Commons Library Debate Pack briefing has been prepared in advance of a debate on E-Petition 205106 which calls for an end to “the privatisation of NHS services”. This will be led by Mike Hill MP and will take place in Westminster Hall on Monday 23rd April at 4.30pm.

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This Debate Pack contains background information, parliamentary and press material, as well as further reading suggestions which Members may find useful when preparing for this debate.

The petition which prompted this debate is entitled "Stop the privatisation of NHS services".

This says:

We call for a ban on the outsourcing (privatisation) of NHS services, and stop the renewal of any outsourcing contracts already signed. Companies should not be profiteering from NHS contracts, when every pound of NHS budgets is desperately needed for more doctors and nurses, and to pay them more.

Research by Bain & Company published by the Financial Times in January 2017, found that private-sector companies had been invited to bid for 14 per cent more NHS contracts in the 12 months to August 2016 than just a year previously. In March 2017 the Financial Times also reported of the extra £2bn given to the NHS in 2014 to try and bolster NHS services, according to data analysis carried out by the Health Foundation, an independent charity, only about half this extra money was spent in the NHS.

This has, at the time of publication, obtained the support of approximately 237,000 signatures.

The Government has responded to this petition with the following statement:

The vast majority of NHS care has and will continue to be provided by public sector organisations. Patients should be able to access the best treatments based on quality of care not type of provider.

We remain committed to a publicly funded NHS. However, the private sector has always played a vital supporting role in the NHS, for example in building hospitals, in providing facilities management services, in supplying medicines and equipment. Primary care contractors – GPs, dentists, pharmacists – have always been independent contractors and are not NHS employees. The opportunity – not obligation – of NHS commissioners to use private sector healthcare providers in order to support existing NHS-delivered care has played a key role in improving patient choice, and in reducing waiting times. In such cases, private sector contractors have to adhere to the same standards of efficiency, safety and quality as NHS providers do, and for this reason the publicly funded NHS will always remain in the driving seat. We are clear that patients should be able to access the best possible treatments based on quality of care and value for money not the type of provider they receive this care from.

Commons Debate packs CDP-2018-0091

Authors: Andrew Mackley; Alex Bate; Stephen Aldhouse; Carl Baker

Topics: Health finance, Health services

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