Labour Party Conference Sept 2017. Composite motion 8: NHS. Passed unanimously
NHS composite motion proposed by Alex Scott-Samuel
NHS motion seconded by Prof. Sue Richards
John McDonnell pledges that
In a speech at the 2017 Labour National Conference , John McDonnell, Shadow Chancellor, pledged to end PFIs
“It’s not just students and households with credit cards who are being ripped off. The scandal of the Private Finance Initiative, launched by John Major, has resulted in huge, long-term costs for tax payers, whilst handing out enormous profits for some companies. Profits which are coming out of the budgets of our public services.
Over the next few decades, nearly two hundred billion is scheduled to be paid out of public sector budgets in PFI deals. In the NHS alone, £831m in pre-tax profits have been made over the past six years. As early as 2002 this conference regretted the use of PFI.
Jeremy Corbyn has made it clear that, under his leadership, never again will this waste of taxpayer money be used to subsidise the profits of shareholders, often based in offshore tax havens. The government could intervene immediately to ensure that companies in tax havens can’t own shares in PFI companies, and their profits aren’t hidden from HMRC.
We’ll put an end to this scandal and reduce the cost to the taxpayers. How? We have already pledged that there will be no new PFI deals signed by us. But we will go further. I can tell you today, it’s what you’ve been calling for.
We’ll bring existing PFI contracts back in-house.”
Labour Press Notice, 25 September 2017
Labour today commits to signing no new PFI deals, to look to bring existing contracts back in-house and to develop alternative public sector models for funding infrastructure, saving the public money and improving services and working conditions.
Labour will review all PFI contracts and, if necessary, take over outstanding contracts and bring them back in-house, while ensuring NHS trusts, local councils and others do not lose out, and there is no detriment to services or staff.
On top of the billions of pounds paid out to shareholders, an estimated £28bn is being lost through costs incurred by problems associated with PFI, including higher interest rates, bail outs and management fees.
The NHS Accountable Care System contracts announced on 7 August impose a basis for 44+ local health services to replace England’s NHS. This has bypassed Parliamentary debate and due legislative process.
On 9 August, the House of Commons Library revealed a doubling of the number of NHS sites being sold off. 117 of these currently provide clinical services. Like their US templates, Accountable Care Systems will provide limited services on restricted budgets, replacing NHS hospitals with deskilled community units. This will worsen health indicators like the long term increase in life expectancy, stalled since 2010.The Accountable Care Systems and asset sell-off result directly from the 5 Year Forward View currently being implemented via Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships. The 5 Year Forward View precisely reflects healthcare multinationals’ global policy aims.
Labour opposes Accountable Care Systems. New legal opinion finds Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships lack any legal powers or status under the 2012 Act: yet they seek through bureaucratic means to eliminate or override the already minimal remaining level of local accountability and democratic control over NHS commissioning and provision. They could eliminate remaining statutory powers and rights of local authorities, commissioners and providers. Many of these also outline plans to establish ‘Accountable Care Systems’.
Conference condemns the current Tory NHS pay cap for all staff and the scrapping of the university training bursary for health Students as significant contributors to the current staffing crisis.
Conference welcomes the commitments made in the Labour manifesto to scrap the pay cap for NHS staff.This Conference Calls on our Party to restore our NHS by reversing All privatisation and permanently halting Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships and Accountable Care Systems. Labour is committed to an NHS which is publicly funded, publicly provided and publicly accountable. We therefore call on the Party to oppose and reverse funding cuts meeting Western European levels.
Conference opposes 5 Year Forward View policy:
Conference recognises that reversing this process demands more than amending the 2012 Health & Social Care Act and calls for our next manifesto to include existing Party policy to restore our fully-funded, comprehensive, universal, publicly-provided and owned NHS without user charges, as per the NHS Bill (2016-17).
Conference opposes the Naylor Reports call for a fire-sale of NHS assets and instead resolves that the next Labour government will invest at least £10 billion in the capital needs of the NHS.
Conference therefore calls on all sections of the Party to join with patients, health-workers, trade unions and all other NHS supporters to campaign for:
Conference welcomes Labour’s commitment to making child health a national priority, including investment in children’s and adolescents’ mental health services.
Labour created our NHS. Labour must now defend it