Assuming the Lords don't change their tune and the government doesn't drop the bill we will need to move to inch by inch defence of the NHS and public health at the ground level.
Reading Borough council is leading the way on this locally:
A special 'Question Time' event will take place later this month as the culmination of Reading Borough Council's 'Let's Talk Health' consultation.
The event on Wednesday March 21st will be hosted at Reading's Civic Centre and representatives from a variety of health agencies have been invited to attend as the Council reveals the results of the public consultation which began last month.
A panel of senior figures representing the Council and public health services across Reading will be on hand to hear the results and to respond to any public questions or issues that are raised on the night.
The meeting will take place in the Kennet Room and begins at 3pm. Representatives from Royal Berkshire NHS Trust, Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals and the Local Involvement Networks (LINks) have confirmed attendance to date, with GP representatives also being invited to attend.
Residents who took the time to respond to the Council's 'Let's Talk Health' questionnaire are being written to and invited to attend. Members of the public who did not fill in the questionnaire are also being encouraged to attend the open meeting.
People are being asked to register their interest in attending the 'Let's Talk Health' Question Time event can do so atwww.reading.gov.uk/
Councillor Bet Tickner, Lead Councillor for Public Engagement and Health said: 'Health is a priority for each and every one of us. The Council is preparing to take on a new role and responsibility for public health, so the time for a serious discussion of the challenges ahead and of people's views and concerns is now. People are living longer - our aim must be to help everyone stay healthy for longer also.'
Councillor Jan Gavin, Lead Councillor for Service Delivery and Improvement, said: 'This public event is open to everyone, it will give the opportunity for residents from across the town to question health experts and the Council about their plans for the public health agenda in the next few years. It is really important that everyone involved in public health works together to make sure we provide the best service we possibly can.'
Let's Talk Health is part of the Council's 'Working Better With You' initiative and asked local residents to complete a questionnaire and attend discussion events across the town to identify how public health services can be more responsive to local needs.
The Council will now use the results of the public consultation as well as feedback from the Question Time event - to shape its work, with other health partners, to ensure that the services that help people to lead healthy and longer lives are working as effectively as possible.