We the undersigned, have concerns about the prospect of an NHS open to commercial interests. It will lead to fragmented services, restrictions on what the NHS offers since the Act removes the government’s responsibility to provide a comprehensive NHS, and the possibility of the bankruptcy of the trust that run our hospitals if private health companies ‘cherry pick’ profitable services. We therefore call upon NHS Sussex and the Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group (B&H CCG) to –
1. Ensure that all services currently provided under the NHS in Brighton and Hove will continue to be available to their current or improved standards.
2. In the spirit of ethically and clinically-led commissioning, we ask that NHS Sussex and B&H CCG commission our health services solely in the long-term interests of Brighton and Hove people and the wider community. In particular we ask that NHS Sussex and B&H CCG stand up for the principle of ‘first do no harm’ and refuse to have Any Qualified Provider imposed upon them. Further, they should consider very carefully all the risks to the existence of a comprehensive and truly National Health Service before engaging with private health companies.
3. In the interests of transparency we request that NHS Sussex and B&H CCG will not engage in any contracts which impose conditions of commercial confidentiality. Once agreed and signed the contract should be open to public scrutiny.
4. We further ask the NHS Sussex and B&H CCG to invite public opinion of its intention to offer health service to tender. This consultation should be initiated by announcements to local media, especially The Argus and local radio stations. We hold the services offered by our NHS in high regard and wish to be informed about any intention to contract with alternative providers.