Labour would halt NHS privatisation in the first days of government, says Miliband

4th May, 2015 12:01 am

Today Ed Miliband will urge the public to “put the NHS first” on Thursday.

Miliband will say that the difference between Labour’s and the Tories’ plans for the NHS shows the big choice for people at the election: between protecting and improving the NHS and more privatisation and reorganisation.

Miliband Absolute Radio

He will say that David Cameron must admit what his party’s plans are and publish a Government commission, written by a former supermarket executive, which lays out another re-organisation of the NHS.

Miliband will also point out the increasing privatisation of the NHS has prompted American doctors to publish a letter warning that this country is on a “slippery slope” to pay-as-you-go health care.

As well as warning of the Conservative’s plans, Miliband will reiterate Labour’s fully-funded plan for the NHS and their commitment to stopping privatisation in the first days of government.

The Labour leader will be joined by Ed Balls, Shadow Chancellor, and Delia Smith, who  says she is concerned about the future of the NHS.

Miliband is expected to say:

“In the final days few days of this General Election, the future of the NHS is at risk in the way it hasn’t been for a generation.

“We know that if David Cameron wins a second term there will be a drive for more privatisation, more broken promises and more people waiting longer for treatment.

“In this election, you have the chance to put the NHS first by voting Labour on Thursday. There is no bigger choice at this election than the future direction of our National Health Service, the bedrock of security for so many working people in our country.

“But our NHS is in huge danger. It’s fighting for its life because of choices this Government has made. We’ve got people queuing out the doors of GPs’ surgeries, unable to see a doctor, one million people last year waiting over four hours in A&E, seriously ill people lying on trolleys in corridors for hours on end, we’ve even seen a treatment tent put up in a hospital car park.

“David Cameron calls his record a success. It’s not a success. It’s a disgrace.

“I know what makes the NHS strong: care, compassion and co-operation, not privatisation, fragmentation and competition.

“So in our first 100 days we’ll put before Parliament a bill to repeal the Tories’ terrible Health and Social Care Act, stopping the drive towards privatisation. And where private companies are involved in delivering NHS-funded clinical services, we will cap the profits they can take out of the public purse.

“This is part of Labour’s better plan for a better NHS, a plan that prepares our National Health Service for the challenges of the future, a fully-funded plan that’s built on solid foundations, a plan that can give our health service the time to care and give Britain the NHS we want: an NHS with people at its heart, an NHS that inspires the country; an NHS that will once again lead the world.”

Meanwhile, Andy Burnham, Shadow Health Secretary, has called on Cameron to come clean about the Conservative’s plans:

“Before the last election, David Cameron promised no top-down re-organisation of the NHS and then embarked on the biggest ever, which wasted £3 billion.

“David Cameron should come clean with the British people about his plans for the NHS after the election. He commissioned a major report on how to change the way the health service is run but has buried the findings.

“They won’t tell us what’s in it. They won’t tell us what they plan to do with it. They won’t tell us what they plan to do with the NHS. But we do know one thing.

We know who wrote it: the Conservative peer, Lord Rose.

“Lord Rose may be good at running supermarkets. But I say to David Cameron: you can’t run the NHS like a supermarket, we don’t want a supermarket health service, so publish this report and show us what is in your secret plan.

“Now we have heard a stark warning of the truth of a second Tory term: an American-style health service where you have to pay to be seen, from the people who know what one looks like.

“David Cameron legislated without the permission of the public to allow English hospitals to earn up to half their income from treating private patients. The longer his Act stays in place, the more our hospitals will become like US hospitals.

“American doctors are sounding the alarm that what happens there is beginning to happen here: pay-as-you-go health care, coming soon to a hospital near you. They know the signs. We know the signs. We know where these Tory plans are leading us. The evidence is clear: a Tory second term means the stealth privatisation of the NHS.

“Labour will repeal David Cameron’s privatisation Act and put the right values back at the heart of the NHS – patients before profits.”

Value our free and unique service?

LabourList has more readers than ever before - but we need your support. Our dedicated coverage of Labour's policies and personalities, internal debates, selections and elections relies on donations from our readers.

If you can support LabourList’s unique and free service then please click here.

To report anything from the comment section, please e-mail [email protected]
  • Dez

    As we know more privatization of the NHS took place under the previous Labour government than the Tories.

    Is Labour’s policy now to stop all PFI’s which they previously introduced across the board and are now taking up 20% of budgets in some trusts?

    • Jack

      “As we know more privatization of the NHS took place under the previous Labour government than the Tories”.
      Please produce your evidence for that statement.

      • BillFrancisOConnor

        He doesn’t usually bother with evidence to support his arguments.

    • BillFrancisOConnor

      ‘As we know more privatization of the NHS took place under the previous Labour government than the Tories’.


      • CrunchieTime

        I have posted the figures above.

        • Jack

          And your copy and paste cannot explain them!

          • CrunchieTime

            There is nothing to explain. You asked for the proof that more privatisation happened under Labour and I provided the figures.

            Now you want to weasel out of things by justifying percentages of spend. I don’t know, neither do you. But carry on with your wahtaboutery.


          • Jack

            Actually I asked for evidence not proof and you have not given any. I’m willing to be convinced but judging by your juvenile comments you are incapable of it.

          • CrunchieTime

            The proof is in the BBC checked figures.

            You want justification. Not my problem. That’s your problem, as you’re the one defending Labour.

          • Jack

            I thought you’d gone!

          • CrunchieTime

            And you called me juvenile…

            I’m off now. Unfortunately Labour went off over a decade ago.

            Cheery bye.

          • Jack

            Is this final?

  • CrunchieTime

    In 2006/7 the percentage of the NHS Budget spent on private providers was 2.8%

    By 2010/11 under Labour, it had risen to 4.9%

    For 2013/14 it stands at 6.1%

    Source: BBC Reality Check

    • Jack

      We see these figures bandied about but we never see them justified. What I want to know is how much of the 4.9% was spent on obtaining temporary private assistance to reduce waiting lists rather than replacing NHS services.

      What the figures also fail to show is the value of privatisation already in the pipeline, put in place by the Tories.

      • CrunchieTime

        As for you first paragraph. I have no idea. I don’t even know if such a breakdown is even available, as I’m sure you don’t either. But carry on with you whataboutery in the face of figures showing that Labour privatised more of the NHS than the coalition government.

        Your second paragraph is correct. Can you provide these figures or do you prefer to rely on scare stories?

        How are your chips? Wet and smelling of urine?

        • Jack

          Another one bights the dust 🙂

          • CrunchieTime

            Yes, you have haven’t you?

      • Hugh

        But, curiously, you don’t want to know how much of the 6.1% was spent on obtaining temporary private assistance.

        • Jack

          Hugh, keep up, the 4.9% is within the 6.1%

      • BillFrancisOConnor

        Absolutely bang on Jack!
        The clinical commissioning groups set up under the Health and Social Care Act could oversee the wholesale privatisation of NHS services over the next five years.

        • CrunchieTime


          And they could not. Evidence please?
          Or shall we draw our own conclusionsfrom past performance, backed up with accurate figures instead of rumours and scare tactics.

    • Dave Postles

      Recent history is that 40% of contracts which have come up for renewal have been passed to the private sector. Recent history is that a third of the members of CCGs have connections with private health providers. Recent history is that funding has been placed in the hands of CCGs which are essentially private sector organizations. Recent history is that the tariff for elective care has been cut year on year. Give us back our NHS.

      • CrunchieTime

        Tell that to Labour. They privatised most of it.

        I don’t have your NHS, Labour’s privatised mates do.

        • Dave Postles

          1 I have on several occasions.

          2 I am not an apologist for New Labour.

          3 The biggest impetus to privatisation is Lansley’s Act by establishing CCGs and passing funding for elective procedures to CCGs, regardless of what Labour did..

          4 Only yesterday I chastised Labour because so few of its candidates have signed up to the NHS Reinstatement Bill

          5 I am undecided voter even now.

          6 The imperative was not aimed at you – not singular, but plural – don’t take it so personally.

          • CrunchieTime

            I’m mortified that you thought I was taking it personally.

            I’m barely taking this thread seriously.



      Your figures are a year out of date which might be unavoidable but does
      suggest caution about your conclusions. The important fact is that
      privatisation is embedded in the 2012 Act (S75 – SI 500/2013) and will
      be implemented by CCG’s which became operational only at the beginning
      of the financial year you quote and yet already there are many examples
      (Staffordshire Bedfordshire, South Coast (which was abandoned after
      local protests). Opportunities for privatisation will be continually
      arising as contracts complete their term – you aint seen nothing yet!
      contribution suggests you are rather ignorant of current issues in the
      NHS or you just lap up the mis-information churned out by CCHQ – the latter no
      surprise as you are obviously a Tory.

      • CrunchieTime

        No, I want a publicly owned and run NHS. I think you and your party are Tories. You just aren’t honest enough to wear a blue rosette.

      • BillFrancisOConnor

        Completely correct. The CCGs are the key to the wholesale privatisation of the NHS that’s why the Tories set them up under the H&SC act.


    There is no shortage of statistics, information, patient stories and comments from think tanks and professional bodies that paint a picture of the NHS in both a crisis of services and a crisis of finance. The leadership could have made much more of this than is apparent from spectating the election campaign.

  • Jack

    Tory MP Oliver Letwin had it almost right when he said the NHS will not exist under the Tories, his mistake was he got his timing a little wrong and it is taking them longer than expected.

  • Can we have a reference or link to the warniong by US doctors please

  • Sunny Jim

    It doesn’t matter what Labour did previously in terms of privatisation – and I suspect it was the sort required to help patients rather than profit making.

    What matters is that voters will hear us say ‘privatisation’ and associate with the Tories which is what this is all about.

    Might be unfair but if you’ve managed to get yourself the label of NHS haters then this sort of thing is going to stick.

  • Rainborough

    “And where private companies are involved in
    delivering NHS-funded clinical services, we will cap the profits they can take out of the public purse.”

    Why not take these services back in-house and tell the profiteers to get lost? Why should any part of our NHS be a source of private profit, even capped profits?


LabourList Daily Email

Everything Labour. Every weekday morning

Share with your friends