Following mounting concerns about its Health and Social Care Bill in the UK, the Government has decided to “pause, listen and reflect” on the proposals, before the Bill is next debated in Parliament. This NHS Listening Exercise will include a public consultation, a series of listening events and a review by the NHS Future Forum, a panel of experts who will report to the Government in late May.
This latest development follows months of sustained lobbying and media work by organisations across the country, including the CSP.
Whilst there is some scepticism in relation to how much people participating will be heard, the CSP believe that it is worth the investment in their and their members’ time to use this opportunity to clearly state the issues they have with the Bill.
The CSP have been invited to submit comments to the NHS Future Forum and will be responding to the consultation questions posed, drawing on their previous submissions as well as the results of our latest member survey.
Without doubt views of the CSP are listened to at national level, but they are made much more powerful when reinforced by individual members who know and care about the future of the NHS. The CSP are, therefore, calling on all members working in England to take three actions:
On 5 May, local government elections are being held in a third of councils in England. Before polling day, please send a letter to the candidates standing in your local area. We have prepared a template for you to use with a list of contact details. The proposed NHS reforms pave the way for local councillors to have a much greater say in the provision of NHS healthcare, so this is a key opportunity to tell them about the important contribution physiotherapy can make.
Your Own MP
As soon as possible, get another letter off to your local MP using our online system, which will automatically identify your MP from your post code and generate a template email for you. After the NHS Listening Exercise is complete, the Health and Social Care Bill will be debated in the House of Commons. It is important for us to make sure that MPs understand our concerns and can raise them during the debate.
On-Line Consultation Questionnaire
Before 31st May, take part in the Government’s on-line consultation. The CSP will not be producing template answers for this survey, but the CSP will produce a short briefing to help you think through the questions. Look out for this briefing on the website and in the next E Bulletin on 28 April.
Local listening events
Finally, if you get the opportunity to take part in a local listening event, please read our special briefing on the Health and Social Care Bill, tell your work colleagues about the briefing, and feed back to the CSP how you felt the event went by emailing Daisy Benson, Policy and Public Affairs Officer.