Vast majority of NHS services must go out to tender, health minister says

Extract from BMJ
The UK government has come under fire after publishing legislation this month that compels the new clinical commissioning groups in England to place the bulk of NHS services on the open market.

The new rules, due to come into effect from 1 April 2013, will require commissioners to allow all qualified providers of services—whether they are NHS, private, or voluntary providers—to bid for NHS contracts under competitive tender, except in certain limited circumstances.

But the UK Labour Party and the new National Health Action Party, which was set up by doctors opposed to the government’s changes to the NHS,1 said that the legislation contradicted previous assurances by Conservative ministers that commissioners would not be forced to open NHS services to the market, and they urged MPs to force a parliamentary debate to try to halt the process.  Read more

Extract From Abetternhsblog


… regulations were laid down on 13th February and will become law on 1 April unless all MPs who care about the NHS first insist on a debate and vote, and then vote them down. Over the next few days the political parties are going to be considering their next moves.

Please take time to

a) sign this petition to call for a full debate, vote and defeat

b) urgently email your local MP to ask them to ensure these regulations are debated, voted on and defeated in parliament.  Send them the Keep Our NHS Public briefing, attached  (or at this link: & use the bullet points in the briefing to help you explain to your MP why you are so concerned.  You can use if you don’t have your MP’s email address.

c) ask others to do the same!  please spread this message widely to friends, colleagues, any groups you are in, and write to the newspapers using the points in the attached briefing, along with your own experience.

Additional background available here: (subscriber only)