Luke Pollard MP

Labour & Co-operative MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport

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Luke calls on Tory MP to scrap NHS privatisation


The NHS is in crisis. People in Plymouth are waiting longer for operations and to be seen by their GP. NHS services are being privatised and a whopping £3bn has been diverted from frontline care to pay for an expensive and dangerous NHS reorganisation no one voted for. It is time the Government realised that it is their medicine that is killing the NHS - it is time to stop the Tory NHS privatisation.

On Friday, MPs have the chance to change course on privatising the NHS. Clive Efford, a Labour MP, has tabled a bill that will stop NHS privatisation. For the Bill to become law we need Tory MPs to vote with Labour.

That is why today I have written to Oliver Colvile, the Tory MP of our area, asking him to back the bill and stop the privatisation of the NHS. Mr Colvile has been a big supporter of NHS privatisation and voted for the privatisation of NHS services. I hope he will listen to his constituents and realise his Government's reforms of the NHS is pushing services to breaking point and his constituents are suffering. 

Clive Efford's Bill will also:

  • Stop NHS privatisation
  • Exempt the NHS from TTIP
  • Stop the NHS regulator, Monitor, forcing competition and privatisation on hospital and NHS services.


If I were an MP I would be voting for this bill. If I'm elected as the MP for our area in May next year one of the votes I will cast is to scrap the law that allows for the privatisation of the NHS. Labour created the NHS in the 1940s, we saved it in the 1990s from Tory neglect and we will have to do that again in 2015.

You can read the letter here (opens in a new window).

The text of the letter is copied below:

Dear Mr Colvile,

The National Health Service

Before the 2010 General Election, David Cameron said the NHS was his number one priority, and promised that he would "stop the top-down reorganisations that have got in the way of patient care". Then within days of becoming Prime Minister, his Government launched the biggest reorganisation of the NHS in its history. It was a reorganisation no-one voted for, that NHS staff didn’t want, and that has cost £3billion which could have been spent on patient care.

If a Labour Government is elected next May, we will repeal the Government’s Health & Social Care Act to undo the damage their reforms have caused. But I know it isn’t good enough just to make promises about what we will do after an election – which is why Labour is putting a Bill to Parliament this Friday to do away with the most harmful aspects of the Government’s reforms.

I am writing to urge you to vote with Labour MPs on Friday in support of this Bill.

The reforms brought about by the Government’s Health & Social Care Act have piled pressure on our health service. Implementing the reorganisation has taken £3billion out of frontline care. Pay-offs have gone to 4,000 members of NHS staff who were fired, then rehired. And rules have been introduced forcing doctors to put services out to the market, even if they do not want to, meaning large sums of money are being wasted administering tendering exercises. In a recent survey, two thirds of commissioners said they had experienced “increased commissioning costs” as a result of the new regulations. So Labour’s Bill will scrap these rules, saving money on bureaucracy would could be put into frontline care.

The Health & Social Care Act has also exposed the NHS to the full force of EU competition law, and established Monitor as an economic regulator to enforce competition in the health service. Ultimately this means doctors are not just forced to put services out to the market – it means providers must compete to cut costs, and cut corners, in order to win contracts. It means a race to the bottom and threatens the quality of care patients receive. So Labour’s Bill will scrap the competition framework 
and remove the role of Monitor as an economic regulator.

Please use this opportunity to show your constituents where you stand on the NHS, and to start rebuilding trust from those who voted for you believing a Conservative Government would protect 
 our NHS. Given the public interest in the future of the NHS I am putting a copy of this letter on my website and copying it to the local media. I hope you will put Plymouth before your party and vote for this sensible bill.


Luke Pollard
Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport


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