A new political party dedicated to the fightback against Tory-led NHS reforms was launched in Westminster today where its members gathered outside Parliament wearing doctors garb.
The National Health Action (NHA) party, made up of healthcare professionals, aims to field 50 candidates at the next general election to campaign against the Health and Social Care Act.
It is being led by former Kidderminster hospital consultant Richard Taylor, who served as an independent MP for Wyre Forest from 2001 to 2010, and NHS Consultants Association co-chairman Clive Peedell.
The party's members argue the Act gives a green light for the NHS in England to be "broken up and sold off."
Dr Peedell said: "NHA will send a clear message to the public that the NHS will be increasingly dismantled and handed over to the corporate sector unless we fight to maintain it as a public service, dedicated to the public interest."
He questioned new Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt's credibility, warning he has "no significant experience in healthcare policy at a crucial time for the NHS."
Dr Taylor assured: "We won't stand for a seat where the candidate shares our views on the NHS. We will be targeting largely coalition seats."
He also did not rule out working with Labour, which has already said it will repeal the NHS reforms if it wins the next general election.
But Dr Taylor added that they wouldn't want to go into a coalition with Labour, given a hung Parliament at the next election.
He explained the party would largely focus on social care issues.
Consultant radiologist and potential candidate Dr Jacky Davis said she became involved "because if we don't come out fighting for the NHS we are going to lose it, it's as simple as that."
The party's first AGM will be held early next year.