Right now, even as huge changes to the NHS ‘go live’ this month, the government is trying to force through new legal regulations to open up all of North Kirklees’s health services to the private sector.
After an outcry from health professionals and campaigners last month, including North Kirklees NHS Support group and Wakefield Campaign for the NHS, the government hastily re-wrote this legislation. But they are little different, according to legal experts. They would still take vital money away from our local NHS hospitals and leave local people with little say over our local health services.
Even in their revised form, these regulations, made under a clause in last year’s controversial Health & Social Care Act, break the promises made by ministers at the time - that there was ‘nothing in the Act that would encourage or promote privatisation’ and that local people – ‘not government or regulators - would decide how and when to use competition’.
There will be a vote in the House of Lords on the 24th April, and may also be a vote in the Commons – either House could overturn these regulations. I have written to our MP, Simon Reevell and to some local peers asking them to do all they can to overturn these regulations before it is too late. This weekend is the last chance to influence a Lord or Peer. I would urge all readers of the Dewsbury Reporter Group of Papers to do the same. Nobody voted for this, whether you voted Conservative, Liberal Democrat, Labour, Green,or UKIP, in the last election, you did not vote for the NHS services to be sold off. The government does not have a mandate for this.
Dewsbury A&E is destined to be downgraded and the children’s ward for overnight stays, removed. No emergency provision will be provided for mothers deemed low risk births who subsequently develop problems and they will have to be shipped to Pinderfields. People must write to the consultation committee at Meeting the Challenge to express their concern.
Already on 1 April many NHS buildings at Dewsbury Hospital have been taken away from us and given to a shady private company out of our control. How much more damage can our NHS take before it collapses?
Scarr End Lane