11 October 2011
Online campaign website, 38 degrees, is asking people to sign a petition before today’s House of Lords debate on the Health and Social Care Bill.
The petition says:
"Dear Members of the House of Lords,
"Please make sure the Health and Social Care Bill doesn’t put our NHS in danger. Please support Lord Owen’s motion for more scrutiny of the new laws when you vote on Wednesday.
"These changes weren't in any manifestos and the public has never had a chance to vote on them.
"These changes weren't given proper scrutiny in the House of Commons so we need the House of Lords to look at them properly."
Legal analysis challenge
In August, 38 degrees published a legal analysis of the Bill which said it would “severely curtail the Secretary of State's ability to influence the delivery of NHS care to ensure everyone receives the best healthcare possible.”
The Government responded saying the Department of Health “does not agree with some important aspects the legal analysis,” in particular:
“the Secretary of State's accountability for the NHS and his powers in relation to the NHS are not reduced as extensively as suggested - the Government is not "washing its hands" of the NHS the duty on the Secretary of State in relation to the promotion of autonomy ("the hands off clause") does not restrict the Secretary of State as severely as the analysis suggests
that the Bill would mean there would be fragmentation, an increase in the "postcode lottery" and no national health service. The Bill confers various duties and powers on the Secretary of State, the Board and clinical commissioning which will ensure a national health service.”