Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary responds to Cameron’s Tory Party conferennce speech: “And health workers and patients up and down the country will not be fooled by his warm words on the health service. They know you can’t trust the Tories on the NHS.”
BMA renews it’s call for the Destroy the NHS / Health and Social Care bill to be rejected.
NHS ‘Big Weekend’ this weekend.
- Conservative election poster 2010
A few recent news articles about the UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat coalition government – the ConDem’s – brutal attack on the National Health Service.
UNISON, the UK’s largest union, said today that David Cameron’s speech showed just how out of touch he is with hardworking people and their families. The union said he was wrong on the economy, wrong on the NHS, and wrong on public sector pensions.
Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary, said:
“David Cameron is out of touch with the reality of many working people’s lives. Thousands of families in the UK struggle to make ends meet, and many of them are worried about losing their jobs. Millions are out of work, with young people hit especially hard. This speech offers them no hope at all.
“And he is wrong to say that it’s fair to make public sector workers work longer and pay more for their pensions. There is no public sector pensions crisis – the schemes don’t need this drastic change. Government ministers’ plans are just an extra tax on public sector workers to pay down the deficit.
“While ordinary, hardworking families shoulder a huge burden for the crisis, bankers are still making off with billions in bonuses.
“And health workers and patients up and down the country will not be fooled by his warm words on the health service. They know you can’t trust the Tories on the NHS.”
The BMA has approached the House of Lords in a renewed call for the Health Bill to be withdrawn.
In a letter to peers BMA chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum warned that the Bill still ‘poses an unacceptably high risk to the NHS in England’.
The BMA has sent letters and briefing papers to the every peer in the House Lords calling for the Bill to be withdrawn or substantially amended. Debate in the Lords begins on Tuesday.
Dr Meldrum said that the Bill will ‘make it harder to create the seamless, efficient care that everyone agrees is key to future sustainability.’
The BMA still had concerns over the lack of clarity on how the plans would be implemented, Dr Meldrum said.
He described reforms as ‘most radical restructuring of the NHS in a generation’, particularly in light of the rapid rollout taking place before the legislation has been enacted.
The Lords must address the need for an explicit provision that the health secretary will retain ultimate responsibility for the provision of comprehensive health services, the BMA said.
Health and Social Care Bill Second Reading [Earl Howe] 18th Report from the Constitution Committee
†Lord Rea to move, as an amendment to the motion that the bill be now read a second time, to leave out from “that” to the end and insert “this House declines to give the bill a second reading, in the light of the statement in the Coalition Agreement that we will stop the top-down reorganisations of the NHS that have got in the way of patient care.”
UNISON members will be among those defending the NHS this weekend, as the House of Lords prepares to debate the government’s controversial shake-up of the health service.
They will be joining other trade union and Labour Party members for the NHS Big Weekend, organising street stalls, petitions and NHS-themed door-knocking across the country. The aim is to send a message to Tory and Lib-Dem MPs that they need to think again about their plans to destroy the NHS.
It’s also hoped that the NHS Big Weekend will make an impression on the House of Lords, which meets on Tuesday 11 October for the second reading of the health and social care bill. This precedes closer scrutiny of the bill by peers, which could continue for some weeks.
“We feel that the Lords will be a key moment in the life of this bill,” said UNISON national secretary for health Christina McAnea. “There are strong indications that peers are not happy with the bill and will try to amend it.”
The union believes that the bill should be scrapped in its entirety, as it presents real dangers for the future of the NHS, including a wholesale move towards competition and private providers.