NHS campaigners stage tug of war protest in Leamington against the Health and Care Bill

The staged event took place outside the town hall with some campaigners donning masks and others dressed as doctors and nurses

Sunday, 18th July 2021, 11:22 am
Updated Sunday, 18th July 2021, 11:26 am

Campaigners staged a mock tug of war outside the town hall in Leamington yesterday (Saturday July 17) in protest against the Health and Care Bill..

The campaigners are claiming that the forthcoming Health and Care Bill, which passed its second reading in the House of Commons this week (July 14), will increase the private sector’s involvement in the NHS and have called for the new Health Secretary Sajid Javid to withdraw the legislation.

Among concerns raised by campaigners are the proposed changes to the rules for contracting NHS services.

The tug of war protest outside Leamington town hall. Photo supplied

Presently, Section 75 of the 2012 Health and Social Care Act requires a process of compulsory competitive tendering for NHS services.

The government’s new legislation would end this requirement, which campaigners claim would make it much easier for services to be contracted to the private sector without checks and balances.

Further concerns have been raised about proposals for new Integrated Care Systems (ICS) boards - new bodies within the NHS designed to bring together all bodies working within the health service to work on public health strategy.

However, campaigners have warned that the forthcoming Bill would allow private companies to sit on such decision making boards, arguing that this creates potential for conflict of interest.

The tug of war protest outside Leamington town hall. Photo supplied