23 November 2014

Last Friday 21 November 2014 the Commons gave a second reading to the National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill. It begins to repair the damage to the NHS caused by the Tory Libdem Health and Social Care Act 2012 which promoted privatisation and fragmentation. It is very unlikely to get through all the Commons procedures.

Note that privatisation happened during the last Labour government too. Buying health care from outside the NHS rose from £1.1 billion in 1997/98 to £7.5 billion in 2009/10 (Hansard 21 November 2014 column 564).

Clause 14 of the 2014 bill specifically protects the NHS from the Transatlantic trade and investment treaty (TTIP).

Interestingly, in the debate Julian Huppert and John Pugh, two Libdems, discussed the possibility of ending the commissioner/provider split to form local integrated health services.

In the end the bill got its second reading by 241 to 18 votes (division 90), the bulk of the Tories and Libdems not voting. Andrew George, Libdem MP for St Ives, joined Huppert and Pugh in voting for the second reading. Votes are not recorded for the other two Libdem MPs from Cornwall, Stephen Gilbert (St Austell and Newquay) and Dan Rogerson (North Cornwall). Of the three Cornwall Tory MPs a vote is recorded only for George Eustice; he voted against.

Hansard 21 November 2014