Will Martin Horwood pledge to keep Gloucestershire’s NHS public?

The following letter was sent to Martin Horwood on 27th March 2012.  He has yet to respond.


Dear Martin,

We are writing to invite you to make the following pledge, which has been launched following last month’s ruling by the High Court that local people MUST be properly consulted on whether our health services stay in the NHS or not.  It has always been clear that a social enterprise is NOT part of the NHS, but a private company.


“I fully support the campaign to Keep Gloucestershire’s NHS Public.  I support the right of NHS users and staff to have the choice for Gloucestershire’s community hospitals and health services to remain fully in the NHS, publicly owned and accountable.  I pledge to do all I can to ensure this happens, including lobbying local and national decision makers to abide by the court order to:  pursue and make available a range of NHS options for our community health services, and properly consult with staff, users and communities.”

Will you make this pledge as a way of showing your unequivocal support for the right of you & your constituents to have the choice to keep health services in the NHS?

Our legal advice – which has prevailed in court – is that a full competitive tender is unnecessary, so long as an NHS body comes forward (or is created) to run services.   Can you confirm, formally, that you are pressing this argument strongly on our behalf, both in your discussions in Whitehall and with NHS managers? 

As our elected representative, we also urge you to make the case for NHS options (including the option of a standalone NHS Trust) on behalf of your constituents, and we would be grateful if you could clarify what specifically you are doing in this regard.

Lastly, we hope you will ensure that your constituents are now consulted in an open and transparent way, and that our voices prevail over those of big business.

We look forward to hearing from you as a matter of urgency.  This letter will be made public in due course, and I’m sure there will be much interest in your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Cheltenham Against Cuts



  1. Yes I have pressed for this option to be pursued, most recently in a meeting with the Chief Executive of the PCT. NHS Gloucestershire are being somewhat cagey about the exact process they’re going through right now – lawyer’s orders I suspect – but I think everybody should keep lobbying for the NHS option to be kept open as the agreement at court suggested it should be.

    1. Many thanks for (finally) responding, Martin. Given your broadly supportive comments, we’d now like to invite you to sign the actual pledge, here:


  2. You really should try categorising these entries. And using tags. It makes it easier for people looking for similar material to find your blog.

    1. Many thanks. Yes, you’re right, we’ll try and get round to this at some point!

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