Sheffield City Council, at its meeting this afternoon, passed the Green Party substantive motion opposing the Government’s NHS reforms (The substantive motion was essentially Jillian’s original motion, with the addition of clause 3(b) from the Lib Dem amendment – see motion & amendment below.) Labour and Green Party councillors supported this substantive motion, but Lib Dem councillors opposed it.
On Tuesday hundreds of Sheffield people took part in a vigil in the city centre to show support for the NHS. The vigil outside the Town Hall, which was organised by the Sheffield Save our NHS (SSoNHS) group, was timed to coincide with this week’s Parliamentary debate on the Government’s proposed changes to the NHS.
SSoNHS spokesman Jon Ashe commented “It was fantastic to see so many people showing their support for the NHS. Most of the people at the vigil signed our petition opposing the coalition Government’s NHS changes. Many people across the country, both the public and health professionals, believe the Government’s proposals will damage healthcare. We hope MPs don’t back them in Parliament this week.”
SHEFFIELD COUNCIL MEETING 07/09/11
ITEM OF BUSINESS NO 14 – NOTICE OF MOTION GIVEN BY COUNCILLOR JILLIAN CREASY
Councillor Jillian Creasy’s original motion
That this Council:-
(a) Notes that many people in Sheffield are concerned about the Government’s handling of the NHS and the effect its policies are having on patient care;
(b) Considers that the Government’s revised Health and Social Care Bill will, if it becomes law, have significant detrimental effects on healthcare in Sheffield and elsewhere;
(c) Considers that another major NHS reorganisation is likely to destabilise the system and leave patients, doctors and others confused about responsibilities;
(d) Believes the Bill is likely to result in the increased privatisation of healthcare;
(e) Notes that Government officials have already instructed local health bodies, including Sheffield Primary Care Trust, to identify three types of services that could be handled by different providers next year;
(f) Notes that the doctors’ organisation, the British Medical Association, has recently called on the Government to withdraw the Health and Social Care Bill;
(g) Therefore resolves that this Council directs the Chief Executive to send a copy of this motion to the Secretary of State for Health, the Deputy Prime Minister and all local MPs, urging them to oppose the Health and Social Care Bill.
Amendment to be moved by (Lib Dem) Councillors Gail Smith & Clive Skelton
That the Motion now submitted be amended by:-
1. the substitution of the words “may have” for the words “are having” in paragraph (a);
2. the deletion of paragraphs (b) to (g); and
3. the addition of new paragraphs (b) to (h) as follows:-
(b) reaffirms its full support for the enduring values of the NHS – that is an NHS free at the point of use, based on need and not ability to pay, and funded through general taxation;
(c) regrets the piecemeal measures of the previous Government, which left behind a half-reformed health service, with command and control driven from Whitehall, hampering the NHS from achieving world-class outcomes;
(d) supports the successful motion at the 2011 Liberal Democrat Spring Conference in Sheffield , which called on the Government to amend the Health & Social Care Bill and the resulting six month pause to the progress of the Bill;
(e) welcomes changes already secured through Liberal Democrat influence in Government, such as moves to block competition on price and a ‘race to the bottom’, prevent private companies from ‘cherry-picking’, and slow the pace of reform to allow organisations to adapt;
(f) therefore praises the ongoing work of Liberal Democrat Ministers, MPs and members in protecting the NHS from proposals which could damage the long-term future of a national treasure;
(g) calls on all MPs to continue to protect the important principles of the NHS, whilst ensuring that it receives the reform it desperately needs; and
(h) therefore directs that a copy of this motion be sent to all Sheffield MPs.