Domestic Issues

The coming election will decide the future of the NHS, and with it, the United Kingdom.

The end of the NHS as we have known and understood it in England will take place before 2020 if whichever party or parties that win the 2015 general election does not change the 2012 NHS legislation ….around that moment the issue of Scottish independence will be back on the political agenda with a vengeance. The two are linked in more ways than have yet been fully recognised.

The New Statesman (online), 21 April 2015. 

Read the article here: The coming election

Lord Owen appears on BBC BOOKtalk to discuss his new book ‘The Health of the Nation: NHS in Peril’

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Watch the 15 minute programme here: BBC BOOKtalk (available until 26 February 2015)

The Health of the Nation: NHS in peril is Lord Owen’s latest book. On its release Lord Owen wrote in the Guardian:

“The Health and Social Care Act 2012 – engineered by the former health secretary Andrew Lansley – was a massive blunder, and even senior Conservative ministers now admit the scale of its disastrous repercussions.

“The main thrust of the Lansley project was to take the NHS down the American healthcare route, creating an external market and mandating the compulsory marketisation and commercialisation of services.

“Such a grave mistake as Lansley’s reform must be corrected. A reinstated NHS would be far better placed to provide a comprehensive, cost-effective healthcare service for England, which is similar, although not the same, in all parts of the UK. Repealing the 2012 act is not a realistic political option but its worst aspects can and must be excised, and the best opportunity to secure a commitment to doing that is before the 2015 election.”

Buy a copy of The Health of the Nation: NHS in peril from the Book Depository here: The health of the nation

Or, order direct from the publisher Methuen. Search for ISBN 978-0413777720

All profits from the book between now and the May 31st 2015 will go towards the  Campaign for the NHS Reinstatement Bill 2015

Lord Owen warns of the lessons to be learnt from the Hinchingbrooke Hospital scandal.

Article, published in The Guardian 19 January 2015

Hinchingbrooke has been a heavy defeat for an ideological solution that can work well in manufacturing or retailing, but runs into problems in healthcare.

Advocates of a market-led, partly privatised NHS for England have been saying for years that “what matters is what works”, dismissing those who believe in the 1948 NHS concept as ideological, old-fashioned or plain wrong.

Now that their flagship, Hinchingbrooke hospital, the only privately run NHS hospital in the country, is losing its private contractor, Circle, one might have expected the zealots to acknowledge the flawed nature of their policy? Not a bit of it. The arch priest of markets everywhere, the Economist, merely records that it “is just one of dozens in financial trouble”.

To read the full article please click here: Hinchingbrooke.

The Health of the Nation: NHS in Peril

A new book by Lord Owen entitled The Health of the Nation: NHS in Peril will be published on 4 December. It details the damage done by the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and the reasons why the worst aspects of it must be repealed.

The six chapter headings covering the main topics are as follows:

Introduction

“The Campaign for the NHS Reinstatement Bill 2015 is an all-party and no-party campaign* whose aim is simple:  to ensure a sufficient number of MPs are returned to Parliament in May 2015 so that whichever party or combination of parties form the government the marketisation of healthcare is removed from the Health and Social Care Act 2012 – which in essence only applies to England.  This Act was likened when it was published to tossing a hand grenade into the NHS.  The damage it has done already is hard to exaggerate, let alone quantify.  This legislation must be repealed but it will have to be done carefully in an enabling way, with no single appointed day when everything changes.”

Action Sheet p. xvii

This explains the Campaign for the NHS Reinstatement Bill:

* www.nhsbill2015.org

Chapter 1        The Hung Parliament of 2010

Chapter 2        Fatally Flawed NHS Legislation

Chapter 3        A People’s Commission

Chapter 4        NHS Marketisation – EU and US

Chapter 5        SOS: Save Our Surgeries

Chapter 6        A One-nation NHS

For more details regarding specific sections within the book please click here

To buy the e-book or paperback please go to the book section or click here

Lord Owen endorses draft Bill to restore the NHS

Leading public health experts have launched a consultation on a new Bill which aims to reverse the failings of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and fully restore the National Health Service (NHS) in England as an accountable public service.

The Bill proposes to abolish competition and the purchaser- provider split, re-establish public bodies and public accountability, and restrict the role of commercial companies. It draws on some of the best examples of NHS administration over its history, retains some features of the reforms laid out in the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and would be implemented on a timescale determined by the Secretary of State.

To read the full consultation please click here

Lord Owen interview: Rallying support for the NHS

Interview with Lord Owen, GP Magazine 30 August 2014

Whatever ministers knew about the impact on practices when they decided to withdraw MPIG funding, they could not have known the direct effect on one of parliament’s most vocal and respected opponents of government health policy.

Up the road from the Jubilee Street Practice in Tower Hamlets, east London, which has spearheaded the campaign against MPIG cuts, is the famous Limehouse residence of David Owen.

Lord Owen of the City of Plymouth – former neurological and psychiatric registrar, Labour health secretary and foreign secretary, and leader of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) – has been a patient at Jubilee Street Practice since 1965…

To read the full interview please click here

Lord Owen welcomes Labour’s health plans

Lord Owen Commenting on Labour’s National Policy Endorsement of Health Amendments, Milton Keynes 18-20 July

The Labour Party ‘s proposals for the NHS are a very important new direction which are to be greatly welcomed. The Labour Party has listened to the authentic voices supportive of the NHS and plan to roll back PFI commitments with no further privatisation and reinstate a new model NHS drawing on the best traditions of the past while realising that we cannot rush into another massive reorganisation.

In all its essentials a duty to provide a comprehensive national health service; to take competitive law out of the NHS by ending Monitor’s role as an economic competition regulator; scrapping Section 75 and allowing the Secretary of State to issue directions on the NHS becoming the preferred provider; and committing to a review of the mixed economy of Trusts and Foundation Trusts so that all services are fully integrated to deliver whole person care, represents a massive and imaginative change encompassing a new collaborative way with a new priority for mental health and focussing on deprived areas.

Lord Owen speaks in House of Lords debate on the Chilcot Inquiry Report

To view the the full speech by Lord Owen please click here