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CSP hits the headlines in formal opposition to health bill

7 February 2012 - 2:02pm

The CSP’s decision to call for the government's Health and Social Care Bill to be withdrawn received widespread media coverage, amid the increasing barrage of criticism against the government’s plans for reform of the NHS.

BBC news followed up the story online after the society made its announcement on 3 February, reporting that physiotherapists had joined other key healthcare bodies in saying the health bill in England should be completely scrapped.

Many national newspapers, including the Daily Mail, Financial Times and The Guardian, followed up the story the next day and the controversy around the legislation is continuing to command the headlines as its makes its way through the final stages.

Chair of council Helena Johnson wrote to prime minister David Cameron and health secretary Andrew Lansley saying the government had failed to make the radical changes needed to the legislation and the bill should now be withdrawn.

The society has been a key voice in the opposition to the health bill, particularly over the plans for an increased role for private companies in the NHS.

Amendments to the bill

Final government amendments to the bill were announced at the end of January, with Mr Lansley saying the government had been 'carefully listening' to concerns, and the amendments would 'address these remaining issues'.  But CSP said the changes had failed to do this.

Dr Johnson said: 'Together with many other health professionals, we have tried to engage constructively and make sensible suggestions throughout the bill's passage through parliament.

'But time and time again, the views of patients and health professionals have been ignored. The government seems determined to press ahead with these reforms.

'The bill - even with these latest government amendments - threatens the very future of the health service and will significantly damage the quality of patient care.’

The Royal College of General Practitioners has also asked for the bill to be withdrawn, along with the British Medical Association, Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Midwives.

‘Save our NHS’

Meanwhile, the TUC-led coalition of unions 'All together for the NHS', including the CSP, is planning a 'Save our NHS' rally at Central Hall, Westminster, on 7 March.

The evening rally is aimed at demonstrating the continued broad opposition to the Health and Social Care Bill. More details will be published when they are confirmed.

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