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It is sad that Barry Bates didn’t declare his allegiance to the Labour Party in his letter to the paper last week, as it is of course Labour that health campaigners most blame for starting the marketisation of the NHS and wasting huge resources on PFI contracts as well as creating costly and unnecessary layers of management.

Whereas Shirley Williams and the Liberal Democrats insisted on a moratorium for the Health and Social Care Act and during that time were able to achieve the switch from ‘any willing’ to ‘any qualified’ provider, which offers some protection to NHS bidders for a service, in that private providers have to have proven medical capability rather than just being commercial entities.

The Liberal Lords also set a limit on the proportion of services that could be outsourced.

Considering that we are outnumbered six to one at the cabinet table and that the changes were the Conservatives’ number one priority, that was an achievement, but it’s not good enough for me. I want a review of the legislation by the next parliament and the NHS taken out of TTIP now.

Barry is I fear, missing the main issue. It is our own MP here in West Dorset who drew up the blueprint for NHS privatisation in the 1980s (Oliver Letwin and John Redwood: Britain’s Biggest Enterprise, Centre for Policy Studies 1988) and who is finally enacting it now his party is in government.

If the local Labour Party seriously want to reverse changes in the NHS they have only one choice in West Dorset: to put a clothes peg on their noses and vote Liberal Democrat to get rid of the author of those changes. That will save both West Dorset and UK plc from more policies driven by the ideology of privatisation. It’s a big responsibility.

The NHS is far more important to me than any political party.

I’ve worked in mental health for the last 20 years. I’ll see it sold off over my dead body.

Ros Kayes
Parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Democrats
West Dorset