Intended for healthcare professionals


Bury the bill

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 26 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d4050

A call to action to all UK health professionals

Dear Editor,

The future of our NHS is in our hands. In little under a week's time
politicians in Westminster shall agree to or discard a series of reforms
to our health service, with potentially catastrophic consequences for
patient health. As current and future healthcare professionals we are
concerned that the health service as we know it is soon to be dismantled.

Despite recent amendments, the Health and Social Care Bill remains
committed to widening involvement from commercial healthcare companies.
Accountability for services is proposed to be relinquished from the
Secretary of State and handed over to GP commissioning boards; many shall
call on commissioning services from healthcare companies to assist them.
The end result is likely to be fragmentation, increased and uncontrolled
competition, and a marketised healthcare model that damages cooperation
between healthcare teams.

There has been insubstantial evidence to support the need for these
reforms. All major trade unions and health organisations including the
British Medical Association and Royal College of Nursing are fundamentally
opposed. There is no mandate for these changes which were not discussed
prior to the general election.

In this time of great need we call to action all professionals and
members of the public with a vested interest in openly protesting for a
health system run for the public, by the public. Our greatest chance of
halting the reforms may stand in the House of Lords: interested readers
may wish to contact a peer through Now is
the time for action; if not, it shall be communities and families across
England that ultimately suffer.

Signed by:

Dr James Chan (Foundation Doctor, York), Dr Jonny Currie (Foundation
Doctor, Bristol), Dr Erica Pool (Foundation Doctor, York), Guppi Bola
(Public Health), Amelia Cutts (Medical Student, Southampton), Alex Elliott
-Green (Medical Student, Bristol), Dr Sarah Walpole (Foundation Doctor,
York), Dr Fred Martineau (Junior Doctor, London), Danny McLernon Billows
(Medical student, Peninsula Medical School), Dr Abi Smith (Obstetrics
& Gynaecology Trainee, Bristol), Dr Sam Bartlett (Foundation Doctor,
Slough), Dr Timothy Rittman (Specialist Registrar, Cambridge), Dr Chris
Tiley (GP, Cornwall), Dr Danni Kirwan (CT1 Trainee), Daniel Bunce (medical
student, Peninsula), Emily Ward (medical student, Newcastle), Marion Birch
(Medact), Chris Bem, (Consultant ENT and Neck Surgeon), Dr Frank Boulton
(Medact Chair), Joe Piper (medical student, Oxford), Dr Lucie Potter
(Foundation Doctor, Liverpool), Margaret Greenwood, Dr Harriet Burn
(Foundation Doctor and member of Medact South Yorkshire), Joe Piper
(medical student, Oxford), Dr Kathryn Boyd (Foundation Doctor, Bristol),
Claire Ferraro (Medical Student, Newcastle).

Supported by:

Dr Jacky Davis, Co-Chair KONP, BMA Council Member; Prof Ian Banks,
BMA Council, President European Men's Health Forum; Dr David Wrigley GP
Lancashire, BMA Council member, BMA General Practitioners Committee

Competing interests: No competing interests

01 September 2011
Jonathan A Currie
Foundation Doctor
See below
University Hospitals, Bristol