Principles and values
The National Health Action party strongly supports the original principles of the National Health Service (NHS). These are:
- Public provision of good quality health and social care fairly to all members of the community, free at the time of need
- A health service financed wholly from progressive contributions of citizens according to their ability to pay i.e. by a fair tax system.
The passage of the coalition’s Health and Social Care Act demonstrated a shocking failure of the democratic process. The current health reforms and implementation of the Act are destroying the NHS in England. The coalition Government’s attack on the NHS also violates important social values. Always more than just a health service, the NHS is a social institution that reflects national solidarity; expresses the values of equity and universalism; and ensures the public duty to care for all in society. The NHS marked out a space in society where the dictates of commerce and the market were held in check and allow socially directed goals, for individuals and society as a whole.
The National Health Action party aims are based on these principles and values of the original NHS and we seek to apply them politically. All three main political parties in England have lost credibility in their stewardship of the NHS and its values, and all have encouraged the increasing capture of parliament and the democratic process by powerful but narrow interest groups and financial interests.
In seeking to prevent further dismantling of the NHS and the erosion of its values and the public space, we will:
- Strive to improve the democratic and public interest credentials of parliament.
- Provide a platform for the election of MPs and local councillors, who – free from any party whip – will first and foremost serve the public interest
- Develop and promote policy based on good quality, research-based evidence.
As we are a new party, we will not initially be providing detailed policy proposals on issues crossing the entire political spectrum, because these policies will need to be forged by our future membership. Our initial focus will be on healthcare, where we have most expertise.
We will work to:
- Base health and social care on fair ethical principles and due process and governance
- De-commercialise the health system, with co-operation not markets.
- Abolish the hugely expensive purchaser/provider split and wasteful competition.
- Increase the patients’ and citizens’ participation in the organisation and provision of healthcare
- Reduce the influence of the costly management consultancy industry
- Improve the integration of community and hospital care within the NHS, as well as between the NHS and social care
- Promote innovative public health approaches to health improvement
- Reform the current unfair, overly complex and unsustainable social care system and to promote a fair, effective and efficient health and social care programme integrated with sound public health and just economic policies