Press release: Leeds Council joins marchers ‘calling 999 for the NHS’

Councillor Lisa Mulherin proposed a  motion asking the council to support the founding principles and values of the NHS, and also called on the government to take the following immediate action:

  • Repeal the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and bring commissioning back together under local Health and Wellbeing Boards
  • Re-establish the Secretary of State’s statutory duty to provide and secure a comprehensive health service.
  • Remove the infrastructure which imposes competition on the NHS and which leaves it open to threat from the free market.
  • Ensure that decision-making at all levels in the NHS is open and transparent and that patients and the public are involved in designing services for the future.

The motion passed with the full backing of all Labour and Green Councillors on the 2nd of July, roughly a month before thousands of campaigners will come together to recreate the historic 1936 March from Jarrow to Parliament. They plan to present a petition to MPs asking them to halt the dismantling and privatisation of the NHS. Marchers will leave Jarrow on the 16th of August and arrive outside Parliament on the 6th September, with campaigners passing through Leeds on the 22nd and 23rd of August.

Advocating for her Motion Councillor Mulherin said

“this government’s reforms put private profit ahead of patient care, tying the NHS up in competition law, paying lawyers instead of putting money into patient services – Despite damaging headlines of failures in different parts of the system in recent years, the nation is rightly proud of the NHS, a publicly funded health service that provides universal care free at the point of need”

“People want an accountable NHS where resources go into improving outcomes and patient experience, not into private profits”

Councillor Truswell also expressed worry over the growing role of the private sector in the NHS.

“Research shows that private providers have won 70% of tenders for NHS services since the Act took effect and some CCGs have even contracted out their contracting staff. It is no wonder that Dr Mark Porter, Chair of the British Medical Association, the GP body, recently warned of a bumper year for multinationals and market lunacy diverting money away from patient care into the cost of contracting out services.”

The march comes from Harrogate on the 22nd August, arriving in Leeds around 5.30pm and leaves Leeds the following morning around 9.30am to march to Wakefield. A number of campaigners intend to complete the route in full from Jarrow to London.
Further pictures and comment available on request.

Contact: Joe Salmon, (Joesalmon1985@gmail.com) Mobile 07443 649879

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