MP backs bid to shut out NHS pri­vati­sa­tion

Stockport Times West - - STEPPING HILL HOSPITAL - DANIELLE ROPER

APRESSURE group’s cam­paign to halt the pri­vati­sa­tion of the NHS has been backed by MP An­drew Gwynne.

The Stock­port NHS Watch pe­ti­tion, which has at­tracted over 2,500 sig­na­tures, sup­ports a pri­vate mem­bers’ bill put for­ward by MP Clive Ef­ford, which was de­bated in the House of Com­mons.

The Ef­ford Bill aims to re­verse the ef­fects of the Coali­tion Health and So­cial Care Act 2012 which ex­posed all ser­vices to bids from profit-mak­ing pri­vate com­pa­nies.

Terry Tal­lis, chair of Stock­port NHS Watch, a non-party po­lit­i­cal group, said: “The peo­ple of Stock­port know that pri­vati­sa­tion is hap­pen­ing.

“They recog­nise that this is the great­est threat to the NHS in its 66 years and must be stopped.”

The bill aims to main­tain free ser­vices for all, to cap the in­come foun­da­tion trusts can de­rive from pri­vate health­care and to re­move com­mis­sion­ers’ obli­ga­tion to out­source ser­vices to pri­vate com­pa­nies.

Group mem­ber Gra­ham Trickey said: “When we took the pe­ti­tion out on to the streets we found great con­cern about what is hap­pen­ing.

“Peo­ple of all ages say they want the NHS to re­main ‘our NHS’ and do not want pri­vati­sa­tion.”

Labour MP An­drew Gwynne said: “Labour op­posed the Health and So­cial Care Act 2012 be­cause we feared it would open up the NHS to the even­tual full pri­vati­sa­tion.

“Since the law was passed with the help of Lib Dem votes in par­lia­ment we’ve seen £3bn wasted on a need­less re­or­gan­i­sa­tion and prof­itable ser­vices put into the pri­vate sec­tor, while at the same time the NHS is un­der in­creas­ing pres­sure.

“Labour has al­ready com­mit­ted to re­peal­ing the Health and So­cial Care Act should we form the next gov­ern­ment but Clive Ef­ford’s pri­vate mem­bers’ bill is an early op­por­tu­nity to vote to halt the pri­vati­sa­tion of our NHS and, as im­por­tantly, ex­empt it from a transat­lantic trade deal known as TTIP, which has the po­ten­tial of open­ing up our health ser­vices to for­eign com­pe­ti­tion too.”

Mr Gwynne was the bor­ough’s only MP to have signed the pe­ti­tion at the time of go­ing to press.

Sean Hans­ford

MP An­drew Gwynne and mem­bers of Stock­port NHS watch (from left) Terry Tal­lis, Andy Wed­der­burn, Liz Har­low, Elaine Preece and Paul Leake

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