A campaign seeking a judicial review to stop the Secretary of State, Jeremy Hunt, from bringing forward technical changes to regulations that would facilitate the introduction of Accountable Care Organisations (ACOs) in England was launched last week: and DFNHS members are being asked to support it.
ACOs would fundamentally change the NHS and social care, with these non-NHS bodies being governed by company and contract law, rather than by statute. They would be able to decide on the boundary between what is free and what is not.
The changes would include the suspension of GP contracts, so that they would transfer to the ACO: their patients would automatically be transferred too.
The case is being pursued by Prof Allyson Pollock, Prof Sue Richards, Dr Graham Winyard and DFNHS Executive Committee member Colin Hutchinson,
We are asking Jeremy Hunt to withdraw his decision to support the introduction and operation of the ACO contract until a proper public consultation has been carried out. This would require him to make the case for these radical changes and explain them in detail.
DFNHS has a long history of campaigning for an NHS that is comprehensive, funded entirely from general taxation and accountable to the people it serves; it is contributing £2500 to support this legal challenge, which continues the tradition.
More information on the case and the appeal to fund it is available at: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/jr4nhs
The public and our MPs need to be aware of the risks posed byACOs and to start to make a fuss!
NEC, Doctors for the NHS