Wirral MP tables motion on government’s proposed NHS reforms
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12 Mar 2021
Margaret Greenwood MP has tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) in Parliament calling on the government to pause the process of its proposed NHS reforms until all Covid-19 restrictions are lifted and to then carry out a public consultation setting out clearly what the plans would mean for patients and staff.
This comes after the Wirral West MP recently spoke out on the issue in the House of Commons following the government’s publication of its White Paper: ‘Integration and innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all’.
In her motion, Margaret Greenwood has highlighted a number of concerns including:
Plans to divide the NHS into local statutory Integrated Care Systems create the potential for organisations which are not publicly accountable to take key roles in developing plans to address the health, social care and public health needs of local 'systems'
Such organisations would then be in a position to influence decisions about the deployment of public resources and this presents the possibility for conflicts of interest
Local plans would differ and so lead to a postcode lottery
NHS England and NHS Improvement carried out a consultation called ‘Integrating care - Next steps to building strong and effective integrated care systems’ over Christmas and New Year which proposed fundamental changes to the NHS
This consultation was held over a six week period over Christmas and New Year during the Covid-19 pandemic at a time when the NHS and social care workers who would be affected by the proposed reorganisation had been working incredibly hard under immense stress and many would have been unlikely to engage with that consultation
It was not possible for people to hold or attend public meetings while the consultation was running
Early Day Motions are used by MPs to raise awareness and draw attention to specific events or campaigns and many attract a great deal of public interest and media coverage.
Margaret Greenwood MP said:
“It is a matter of very real concern that the government is planning a major reorganisation of the NHS and social care while we are in the middle of a pandemic and public health crisis and when there is a huge backlog in the NHS.
“NHS and care staff have been under a huge amount of pressure for the past year and many are exhausted.
“The consultation carried out by NHS England and NHS Improvement took place over Christmas and New Year and at a time when people were not able to take part in public meetings to debate and discuss the proposals.
“I feel very strongly that the government should pause the whole process until all Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.
“Additionally, it is really important that the government sets out precisely what their plans for the future of health and social care would mean for patients and staff.
“There must be a widespread consultation with the public so that people can have their say and their views can be fed back into the policy making process.
"The NHS and social care services are vital to all of us at different times of our lives. It's important that we protect them."
Margaret Greenwood MP’s Early Day Motion can be found at this link: https://tinyurl.com/4hxr3man
The government’s White Paper to which the EDM refers can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/vjy8y8ks