The National Health Action party was formed by a group of like-minded healthcare professionals, who strongly support the original principles of the National Health Service (NHS) and are shocked by the failure of the democratic process as demonstrated by the appearance and the passage through parliament of the Health and Social Care Act. We believe the resulting legislation will destroy the NHS in England as an effective, efficient health system fair to all citizens and patients. It will transform a cost-effective public system of health care into one that will be more expensive, wasteful and unequal, whilst diminishing levels of public trust and corroding standards of ethical behaviour.
Quite apart from the direct effects on healthcare provision, the destruction of the NHS also marks the violation of important social values. The NHS was more than just a structure for the delivery of healthcare. It was also a social institution that reflected national solidarity, expressed the values of equity and universalism, and institutionalised the duty of government 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 so as to give expression to socially directed goals, for individuals and society as a whole. Thus the NHS became the glue that holds together the social fabric of our nation. As the NHS is under so much threat, we believe that a new political party is needed to defend the NHS and its values, and we have therefore set up the National Health Action party.