Labour party conference – NHS composite motion

Labour Party

The NHS Accountable Care System contracts announced on 7 August impose a basis for 44+ local health services to replace England’s NHS. This has bypassed Parliamentary debate and due legislative process.

On 9 August, the House of Commons Library revealed a doubling of the number of NHS sites being sold off. 117 of these currently provide clinical services. Like their US templates, Accountable Care Systems 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 Accountable Care Systems and asset sell-off result directly from the 5 Year Forward View  currently being implemented via Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships. The 5 Year Forward View precisely reflects healthcare multinationals’ global policy aims.

Labour opposes Accountable Care Systems. New legal opinion finds Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships lack any legal powers or status under the 2012 Act: yet they seek through bureaucratic means to eliminate or override the already minimal remaining level of local accountability and democratic control over NHS commissioning and provision. They could eliminate remaining statutory powers and rights of local authorities, commissioners and providers. Many of these also outline plans to establish ‘Accountable Care Systems’.

Conference condemns the current Tory NHS pay cap for all staff and the scrapping of the university training bursary for health Students as significant contributors to the current staffing crisis.

Conference welcomes the commitments made in the Labour manifesto to scrap the pay cap for NHS staff.This Conference Calls on our Party to restore our NHS by reversing All privatisation and permanently halting Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships and Accountable Care Systems. Labour is committed to an NHS which is publicly funded, publicly provided and publicly accountable. We therefore call on the Party to oppose and reverse funding cuts meeting Western European levels.

Conference opposes 5 Year Forward View policy:

  • downskilling clinical staff;
  • Tory cuts to the NHS including the Capped Expenditure Process;
  • the sell-off of NHS sites;
  • reclassifying NHS services as means-tested social care;
  • cementing the private sector role as Accountable Care Systems partners and as combined health/social care service providers.
  • replacing 7500 GP surgeries with 1500 “superhubs”.

Conference recognises that reversing this process demands more than amending the 2012 Health & 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).

Conference opposes the Naylor Reports call for a fire-sale of NHS assets and instead resolves that the next Labour government will invest at least £10 billion in the capital needs of the NHS.

Conference therefore calls on all sections of the Party to join with patients, health-workers, trade unions and all other NHS supporters to campaign for:

  • increasing recruitment and training
  • an NHS that is publicly owned, funded, provided and accountable;
  • urgent reductions in waiting-times;
  • adequate funding for all services, including mental health services
  • tackling the causes of ill-health, e.g. austerity, poverty and poor housing, via a properly funded public health programme,
  • reversing privatisation, PFIs and the debts which they entail;
  • reversing private involvement in NHS management and provision;
  • recognition of the continuing vital NHS role of EU nationals;
  • Constructive engagement with NHS staff-organisations
  • rejecting the Tories Sustainability & Transformation Plans as vehicles for cuts in services;
  • urgent reductions in waiting-times;
  • scrapping the Tories’ austerity cap on pay-levels;
  • restoration of NHS student bursaries;
  • excluding NHS from free trade agreements and repeal and reverse the 2012 Act, to reinstate and reintegrate the NHS as a public service, publicly provided, and strengthen democratic accountability.

Conference welcomes Labour’s commitment to making child health a national priority, including investment in children’s and adolescents’ mental health services.

Labour created our NHS. Labour must now defend it