Doctors in Unite motion to Labour Party conference September 2022 unanimously carried

Dr Coral Jones proposed and Dr Louise Irvine seconded a motion defending the NHS and calling for an end to all privatisation within the NHS, at the recent Labour Party conference. The resolution was carried unanimously.

Their speeches can be seen here, from 47 minutes.

The motion

Conference notes:

12 years of Conservative underfunding, neglect and mismanagement have left our NHS with waiting lists at the highest on record and the lowest level of patient satisfaction since 1997;

those needing mental health support have been particularly let down;

that the imposition of US-style structures such as Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) in the Health and Care Act 2022 shows how corporate involvement in policy making leads to private profits at the expense of patient care and workers’ pay;

that the ICSs, rather than integrate, obstruct high quality social care alongside the NHS;

that the personal experiences of many in countries with healthcare for profit systems, most notably the USA, warn of the dangers of privatised healthcare systems;

that there is a crisis in which GPs work under extreme pressure, beyond contracted hours; numbers entering training will not sustain the workforce;

that good mental health runs through all aspects of life and can only be tackled as an embedded part of wider living standards;

a quarter of mental health beds have been cut, over a third of children were turned away from mental health services last year alone, and right now 1.6 million people are waiting for mental health treatment;

that Labour created the NHS and should be its primary defender and reject any plan to increase privatisation in the healthcare system.

Conference reaffirms:

Labour’s unequivocal commitment to a publicly funded, publicly provided, publicly accountable, universal and comprehensive National Health Service.

There must be direct employment of NHS workers, ending commercialisation and fragmentation and the use of outsourcing, private providers and public-private partnerships within the NHS.

Ending outsourcing better enables our friends and allies in the union movement to secure fair pay and conditions for their members, whose work during the pandemic saved tens of thousands of lives.

Health services are of better quality, more equitable and cost-effective when nationally planned and provided by democratically-accountable, public authorities with local expertise.

The socialist achievements of the Welsh government in publicly providing and funding a public Welsh NHS

Conference resolves Labour must:

adopt a position of unequivocal support for the National Health Service and a position of outright opposition and commit to vote against any and all forms of privatisation of the NHS;

commit to returning all privatised portions of the NHS to public control upon forming a Government;

not accept donations from companies interested in outsourcing NHS functions;

immediately launch a public campaign against privatisation of the NHS and actively support current campaigns and activist groups;

publicly support all NHS Trade Unions campaigning to return to and retain all public control of the NHS, including, but not limited to any legal Industrial action;

commit to support GPs so that everyone can access care when needed and staff are developed and valued;

guarantee an appointment for all citizens;

allow medical professionals to use a variety of appointment types (e.g. virtual or
in-person) based on medical need;

provide more places for General Practice, Nurse Practitioners, and other staff
roles where a shortage exists;

build and maintain an NHS fit for the future, by providing the staff, equipment and modern technology needed to treat patients on time;

commit to a national well-being strategy in which mental health prevention is
embedded within wider aims.

The strategy would elevate the importance of mental health and link to other policy areas of our society and economy.

Conference therefore resolves:

To repeal the Health and Care Act 2022 and to reverse and eliminate Integrated Care Systems.

To establish a publicly funded, publicly provided, publicly accountable, universal and comprehensive National Health Service.

To return all privatised portions of the NHS to public control upon forming a Government.

To ensure a Labour government and economy are fit to handle another pandemic with proper preparations and regulations.

To ensure Labour invests in research that focuses on epidemiology, biomedical sciences and research in other STEM fields, bracing for all forms of a pandemic.

To establish comprehensively improved public health.

To establish a publicly funded and publicly provided National Care Service with care and support for independent living for all who need it.

Mover: Socialist Health Association
Seconder: Lewisham Deptford CLP