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Write a letter now and save our NHS!

From Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign:

Your letters can make a different and help pevent full privatisation of our NHS. Tell lords, ladies and bishops what you would like them to say at their crucial debate in a few days' time: 24 APRIL 2013.

Images from house of lords

Scroll down for selected Lords list and letter guidance

Lord Philip Hunt’s pray debate v Section 75 vote on 24 April:

If a member of the Lords wants to organise a debate and a vote to try to overturn something which is already in an act, they are asked to apply for a Pray Debate. It is very uncommon for these requests to be granted – the issue has to be seen as warranting special merit.

Lord Hunt (who is the Shadow Health Minister in the Lords ) has been granted a Pray Debate to oppose Section 75 – the Coalition’s Health & Social Care Act Secondary Legislation.

This has been written in such a way as to force Clinical Commissioning Groups ( CCGs ), the bodies which have replaced PCTs and are run by local GPs, to engage in a tendering process for all the medical services they now have to commission.

There are several dangers in this:

- the private sector will increasingly be awarded contracts to deliver services under the Any Qualified Provider rule

- local hospitals like Lewisham will find that they cease to be the provider of choice and lose patients and money

- as a result patients who are used to getting all their care at Lewisham Hospital may find that they have to get their treatment at a range of different places, which may be difficult and perhaps more expensive to reach

- where a private provider feels that they have not been given the opportunity to deliver a service, they can challenge it in law – meaning that the CCG will have to spend time and money in fighting these cases to defend their decisions. This money should be spent on patients, not on lawyers!

- in order to avoid these challenges, the CCGs are likely to invite the widest possible tendering which the private sector will take advantage of

- private providers will win contracts by bidding low, but then put up their prices afterwards and under the Health & Social Care Act, private providers are not accountable and can let patients down without any comeback

- in the worst case scenario, private providers may start asking for top-up fees from the patient

The government is trying to pretend that they have changed this piece of legislation – which has rightly been described as the greatest danger to the NHS in history - but the danger is still there.

The Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign has been spearheading a Londonwide Section 75 protest. We now have a final chance to speak out. The Liberal Democrat and Cross Bencher Lords hold the balance of this crucial vote in the Lords.

Please spend some time writing to our target Lords list to save the NHS!

NB There will also be another ‘Fatal’ Commons debate on the same subject. The date for this is to be confirmed.

You can help by writing to as many crossbench and Liberal peers in the House of Lords as possible.

Peers have a crucial role in scrutinizing and debating the regulations over the next few weeks.

We think you should write to peers because any of us are free to do so.

However, we can only write to our own MPs, which limits the mass effect we can have.

What to do:

Writing to a Lord

Use this link to open a list of selected members of the House of Lords who have connections with and/or an interest in health, the elderly, or social care issues and who we want to inform or persuade of the disastrous effect of these regulations. Choose a cross-bench or Liberal Lord to write to by e-mail (some have direct in-boxes) or by letter.

By clicking on peers’ names you can link to a more detailed description of individual peers.

Click here for a letter to download which has some key points we have identified within it. Please feel free to use the letter as a letter or email - but we have been told it far more effective to create your own letter or email using the points outlined.

Lords without email addresses can be reached through .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

If you wish to see letters written by others click below:
Letter to Lord 1
Letter to Lord 2
Letter to Lord 3
Letter to Lord 4
Letter to Lord 5
Letter to Lord 6

If you are short of time, you can use the website They Work for you. When you get to the website, click on MPs or Lords, scroll down to find your MP or the Lord you wish to write to, and send them a message.

Please click on our selected list of lords to find which Lord you would like to write to, and click on the sample letter and letters above to see what others have written.

If you’re unsure what to write you can type your thoughts into a Word document then copy and paste them into the comments.

THANK YOU! SAVE OUR NHS!

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