Health White Paper 'illegal', claims Unison

The scale and pace of NHS reforms set out in the White Paper is illegal, according to the one of the UK's largest public sector unions.

Unison said it will mount a legal challenge to stop the ‘sweeping changes’ set out in the White Paper Liberating the NHS being implemented before proper consultation.

The union said NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson is ‘pre-empting’ the results of this summer's consultation and the subsequent parliamentary debate by instructing managers to start work on the reforms straight away.

Unison's head of health, Karen Jennings, said the reforms were not part of either coalition party’s manifesto.
‘The government’s White Paper will change forever the NHS as we know it. It is outrageous that these changes are being brought in without consulting the public, patients, staff and unions.’

Unison has written to the DoH and will start judicial review proceedings if it does not receive a response within seven days.

A DoH spokeswoman said the White Paper sets out 'a stable structure' for the long-term future of the NHS.

'The Government is engaging fully with the public, healthcare professionals, local authorities and unions on how its proposals will be implemented,' she said.

'The NHS chief executive, David Nicholson, has written to encourage the NHS to begin locally led consultations and take first steps on the implementation of the White Paper, without pre-empting the wider consultation.'

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