Influencing the New NHS

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2014 Health Care Service Group Conference
6 December 2013
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that a recent Freedom of Information request showed that 50 out of 251 GP board members (20%) held a financial stake in a provider – other than their practice – which is currently contracted by the CCG. Some 31 CCGs declined to say whether providers, in which board members had interests, were currently contracted to the CCG. One in four CCG’s are under extra scrutiny or support from NHS England for reasons including:

1)Service change and finance plans 43%

2)Governing body skills 11%

3)Oversight, including of safety 10%

4)Addressing inherited problems 5%

5)Constitution and size and shape 4%

Conference also notes The Financial Times report on 4th November that several companies had been approached by the NHS about the possibility of taking over or merging with 19 commissioning support units (CSUs), set up under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 to advise clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) on NHS spending.

Conference believes this is yet further evidence of the ideological drive to privatise the NHS. 40 per cent of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) buy services from private firms. We are continuing to see our members losing their jobs and being forced into the private sector. Where these private companies have no interest in the founding principles or the ethos of the NHS and profits are put before patient care. The lack of scrutiny and transparency due to commercial confidentiality means public money will be drained out of the NHS to line private pockets leading to further cuts to NHS services.

Conference understands that we have to work within the current structures to try and prevent privatisation where we can and protect our members’ jobs and terms and conditions of employment.

Within the Northern Region we are actively building positive relationships with Councillors on Health Overview and Scrutiny Committees as well as portfolio holders within Local Councils.

Conference therefore instructs the Health Service Group Executive to:

a)provide support and guidance to regions and branches to help build relationships with local health overview and scrutiny committees and local Healthwatch boards;

b)produce an updated and condensed version of Stronger Together: a UNISON guide to influencing the new NHS and training to support the document;

c)continue to lobby against further privatisation within the NHS; working with Labour Link and other sympathetic MP’s where appropriate.