Use conference to keep strengthening Labour’s NHS stance

The Socialist Health Association, Momentum, Red Labour and Labour Party activists in Keep Our NHS Public are promoting the following contemporary resolution to go Labour Party conference.

For the debate at conference in 2016 and what Labour’s health policy says after the motion passed there, see here. For some more background see also here.

Oppose corporate policies. Restore NHS founding principles

Conference notes:

• The NHS Accountable Care System (ACS) contracts announced on 7 August impose a basis for 44+ local health services to replace England’s NHS, bypassing Parliamentary debate and legislative process.
• On 9 August, the House of Commons Library revealed a doubling of the number of NHS sites proposed for sale. 117 of these currently provide clinical services.

Like their US templates, ACSs will provide limited services on restricted budgets, replacing NHS hospitals with deskilled community units.

This will worsen health indicators like the long term increase in life expectancy, stalled since 2010.

The ACSs and asset sell-off result directly from the 5 Year Forward View (5YFV) currently being implemented via ‘Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships’ (STPs). The 5YFV precisely reflects healthcare multinationals’ global policy aims.

Conference reaffirms its manifesto commitment to restore our NHS by reversing its privatisation and halting STPs. We therefore call on the Party to oppose and reverse funding cuts (ideally meeting Western European levels) but also 5YFV policy:
• creating ACSs;
• replacing 7500 GP surgeries with 1500 “superhubs”;
• downskilling clinical staff;
• reclassifying NHS services as means-tested “social care”;
• cementing the private sector role as ACS “partners” and as combined health/social care service providers.

Conference recognises that reversing this process demands more than amending the 2012 Health and Social Care Act and calls for our next manifesto to include existing Party policy to restore our fully-funded, comprehensive, universal, publicly-provided and owned NHS without user charges, as per the NHS Bill (2016-17).

(243 words)

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