Drs Peedell & Taylor NHAThe National Health Action party was formed by a group of healthcare professionals who strongly support the original principles of the National Health Service (NHS) and are shocked by the failure of the democratic process, demonstrated by the passage of the Health and Social Care Act through parliament. The NHA’s co-leaders are Dr Richard Taylor, consultant physician (Kidderminster General Hospital 1972 – 1995), Ind.MP for Wyre Forest & member of the Commons Health Select Committee 2001 – 2010 and Dr Clive Peedell, consultant clinical oncologist and co-chair of the NHS Consultants’  Association.

NHA believes that this legislation will destroy the NHS as an effective, efficient health system fair to all citizens and patients, transforming a cost-effective public system of healthcare into a more expensive, wasteful and unequal system, diminishing levels of public trust and corroding standards of ethical behaviour.

Writing in the BMJ, Clive Peedell compared the policies with academic analyses of privatisation and found “evidence that privatisation is an inevitable consequence of many of the policies contained in the Health and Social Care Bill. Other opposition has been voiced by the British Medical Association, Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet, the Royal College of Nursing and a number of pressure groups.

Its latest bulletin commends the decision of the board of the Wyre Forest Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to purchase services from the current providers; it has agreed not to tender out services to the private sector.

NHA’s three key principles 

Firstly, a clear and unambiguous position on the NHS (saving it; reinstating; de-commercialising it).

Secondly, a call for a new politics – promoting the idea of independent MPs and a parliament that is responsive to the people – not to party whips and the cynical calculations of career politicians.

Thirdly, standing as a public health party with a wider concern for a healthy society. Not just the pursuit of economic growth as the basis for all social policy.

Policy proposals

As a new party, they are not, initially, providing detailed policy proposals on issues crossing the entire political spectrum. Their initial focus will be on healthcare, where they have most expertise. Specifically for the NHS, they will work to:

  • Base health and social care on fair ethical principles and due process and governance
  • De-commercialise the health system, with co-operation not markets.
  • Abolish the hugely expensive purchaser/provider split and wasteful competition.
  • Increase the patients’ and citizens’ participation in the organisation and provision of healthcare
  • Reduce the influence of the costly management consultancy industry
  • Improve the integration of community and hospital care within the NHS, as well as between the NHS and social care
  • Promote innovative public health approaches to health improvement
  • Reform the current unfair, overly complex and unsustainable social care system and promote a fair, effective and efficient health and social care programme integrated with sound public health and just economic policies.#