The LibDem conference voted to not ask our MPs and peers to support the bill.
The conference did not ask our MPs and peers to not support the bill. That is quite different.
BBC sort yourself out. LibDem members did NOT “oppose NHS reforms in conference vote” you total clods!
As usual, the LibDem conference acts very sensibly and with great wisdom. …A totally understandable finessing of the motion for people like me who are somewhat used to this sort of stuff.
But, for the rest of the world, it’s all totally impenetrable and a total political disaster! Plus ca change!
Perhaps it is best to see the whole motion which was passed, as amended (one line was taken out about supporting the bill):
A. That during the Lords Report Stage of the Health and Social Care Bill in February and March 2012 Liberal Democrats, in conjunction with peers from other benches, have achieved significant changes to the Conservative Health Secretary’s original Health and Social Care Bill.
B. Taking the lead from the motion passed at Spring Conference 2011 Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords have worked successfully to:
i) Guarantee the Secretary of State’s responsibility for a comprehensive health service, his power to intervene if things go wrong and his accountability to Parliament.
ii) Ensure that competition in the NHS is in the interests of patients, based on quality not price.
iii) Secure the commissioning process against damaging conflicts of interest.
iv) Ensure that any profits from treating private patients in Foundation Trust hospitals are invested in the NHS.
v) Underpin the independence of public health.
vi) Place a duty on the National Commissioning Board and CCGs to address and report on progress in reducing health inequalities as part of how their performance is assessed.
vii) Place on all service providers an equal duty to provide NHS education and training; and
viii) Put the NHS in the vanguard of medical research.
1. Confirms the commitment of Liberal Democrats to a comprehensive national health service accessible to all and free at the point of need.
2. Welcomes the changes made to the Bill, which meet the main demands made by Conference at Sheffield, including:
a) Making Monitor’s top priority the interests of NHS patients, not competition.
b) Ending Labour’s policy of giving preferential terms to the private sector.
3. Supports the Liberal Democrat team in the House of Lords in its endeavours to ensure that the Bill is further amended to:
a) Remove reviews by the Competition Commission from the Bill.
b) Retain Monitor’s regulation of Foundation Trusts after 2016.
c) Ensure that individual Foundation Trusts have to justify in advance any substantial increase in their private income.
4. Calls on Liberal Democrat peers to support the Third Reading of the Bill provided such further amendments are achieved.
5. Calls (on) Liberal Democrats nationally and locally to work with Royal Colleges, NHS staff, patients and carers groups and local authorities in the interests of upholding the NHS as a public service, ensuring its ability to meet the challenges of an ageing society despite constrained financial circumstances, and securing better health outcomes for all.