Politicians speak: A Lib-Dem position: To inform your action

by Julia Evans on September 5, 2011

Reference 1)  Dr Evan Harris, who is stepping down as Liberal Democrat health spokesman is a qualified hospital doctor. Two quotes (see endnote [i] for reference, probably September 2011, though difficult to find):

Dr Harris condemned the failure as an example of the ‘doctor knows best’ culture in the NHS.

‘It’s what I have always been concerned about – in a busy NHS, there’s not enough time given to talking to the patient.’


Reference 2: Radio 4 Today Programme: Monday 5th September 2011 [ii]


Some senior Liberal Democrats want more changes to the government’s NHS reforms in England before they will support them. Dr Evan Harris, vice chair of the party’s federal policy committee, sets out his criticisms of the reforms:


There seems to be two reasons: 1) the processes of contracting-out in a Government created and controlled Mental Health Care market & 2) if the NHS is not controlled by the Secretary of State, this is an undemocratic denial of power which means Government not in control…..


Reference 3: The Guardian, Saturday 18th June 2011 [iii] Quotes:


Evan Harris led the first Lib Dem rebellion which forced the government to ‘pause’ its reforms and think again.

The former MP Dr Evan Harris has told the Guardian he can’t rule out another Lib Dem rebellion if the coalition doesn’t move to ameliorate three new problems in its proposals.

Harris has concerns regarding


commissioning of private firms, and

the level of responsibility for the NHS held by the health secretary.

On Tuesday last week the group of professionals assigned to working out the compromise – the Future Forum – delivered their report, and the government is due to issue its response on Monday.

Harris believes “there are new threats to the NHS emerging as the Conservatives appear to try to bring in competition and privatisation through another route”.

A second area identified by Harris was the potential for clinical commissioning groups to outsource most work to private companies with vested interests, beyond the scope of full public scrutiny.


Before the SLF’s battle over the NHS, the group was regarded by party managers as obscure, but it has now grown significantly in stature.


Reasons for circulating:

Issues arising from the Government plans for Mental Health or Wellbeing care, must be forced out of obscurity.


Commissioning, Competition and Outsourcing are all key to the future.

Does your MP know your opinion?

Tell your Parliamentary contacts your answers to Paul Burstow’s questions: see

Lacanian Works

Who is in bed with whom (Part 2)? A call for your action.

by Julia Evans on December 2, 2010

Nice and cosey does it….  When you are getting in bed with each other!

PS Please read the call to action at the end.  Thank you.

The following is based on the speech by Paul Burstow MP, Minister of State for Care Services, 2 December 2010: New Savoy Partnership (Psychological Therapies) which is available here.  Details of the New Savoy Partnership are available here  and its membership is available in endnote [i].  It will be posted to 2nd December 2010 though circulated in September 2011.


From the Minister’s speech:

The big question is how do we make this happen in practice?’

How do we ensure mental health doesn’t slip back in tougher times?

To be blunt, how do we ensure there’s life after IAPT? {end quote}


A Call to action


The Minister of State for Care Services must have his questions answered by other people than his collaborators: the New Savoy Partnership and the Psychiatric Medical Establishment.  I recommend you feed your answers back through your MP – if upwards of 20 of you do this in through Parliament it will be seen as an important issue. Involve your colleagues……..

[i]  Top MP: ‘NHS failed my dying lover’ by James Chapman, Daily Mail 27th September 2011 (approx date)


[ii] Monday September 5th 2011: Today programme: 07.09am available here.


[iii] NHS reforms hide ‘new threats’, warns leading Lib Dem: Evan Harris predicts another MP rebellion, claiming the Tories want to bring in ‘privatisation through another route’ by Allegra Stratton and Patrick Wintour: The Guardian, Saturday 18 June 2011