National Health Action Party

The National Health Action Party (NHA) is a political party in the United Kingdom.

National Health Action Party
Co-leadersAlastair Fischer and Veronika Wagner
Founded14 May 2012
IdeologyRe-nationalisation of the NHS
Social democracy
Political positionCentre-left
Colours  Blue
Local government (England & Wales)
20 / 19,370
[Note 1][Note 2]

The party grew out of the movement opposing the 2012 Health and Social Care Act.[2] It campaigns for renationalisation of the privatised parts of the English National Health Service, reductions in outsourcing, and improvements to NHS funding, service provision and staffing.[3][4] Despite focusing on health, the party has a range of policies in areas such as the economy, housing and education. These include opposition to austerity and a call for political reform.[5]

The party has stood candidates in various elections since 2014, but has not had any elected.


Alex Ashman (left), Iain Maclennan (center) and Clive Peedell (right) campaigning during the 2013 Eastleigh by-election.

The passage of the Health and Social Care Act in March 2012 prompted the party's co-founder Clive Peedell, a cancer specialist doctor, to co-write an open letter to The Independent alongside esteemed medical signatories.[6] The letter was highly critical of the Liberal Democrats for their role in the passage of the Act and stated that the signatories would "form a coalition of healthcare professionals to take on coalition MPs at the next General Election, on the non-party, independent ticket of defending the NHS and acting in the wider public interest". Two months later, on 14 May 2012, Peedell co-founded the NHA Party with retired doctor Richard Taylor, who had twice been elected as MP for Wyre Forest on an 'independent health' component to his local hospital party name.[2] The party was launched in Westminster in November 2012.[7]

The party first stood in the 2013 Eastleigh by-election, with candidate Dr Iain Maclennan taking 392 votes.[8] The party went on to stand in the 2014 European Parliament elections and the 2015 General Election, taking over 20,000 votes in each. This placed the party seventh in the popular vote in England in the latter.[9] The party's best result to date was the 7,211 votes taken by Dr Richard Taylor in Wyre Forest in 2015 (he had been the MP from 2001 to 2010 under the label Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern).[10]

Party co-founder Dr Clive Peedell resigned the leadership in July 2016, and Dr Paul Hobday was appointed as interim leader.[11] Surgical registrar Dr Alex Ashman was elected as the new permanent party leader in December 2016[12] and promised to continue the work begun by Drs Peedell and Taylor.[13] Dr Ashman resigned as leader in 2019 and was replaced by co-leaders Alastair Fischer and Veronika Wagner.

Supporters have included best-selling authors Mark Haddon[14] and Philip Pullman,[15] satirist Armando Iannucci,[16] science writer Marcus Chown[17] and comedian Rufus Hound. Hound stood as an NHA Party candidate in the London constituency for the 2014 European elections.[18]


The party has a range of policies on healthcare, political reform, the economy, immigration, housing, education and environmental sustainability.[5][19][20]


  • To reverse privatisation and restore a publicly run NHS that provides universal healthcare.
  • To repeal the Health and Social Care Act 2012, remove the internal market and purchaser/provider split, and end use of Private Finance Initiative (PFI) deals.
  • To protect the NHS from involvement in international trade agreements such as TTIP.
  • To involve patients and staff in NHS decision processes and reduce reliance on management consultants.
  • To improve public health, social care, housing and other matters that affect the nation's health.
  • To combat gender inequality in healthcare and the workplace
  • To demand a moratorium on hospital re-configurations unless there are evidence-based, clinical reasons with local and staff support and adequate alternatives already in place.

Political reform


Electoral performance

General election results

YearCandidatesTotal votesAverage votes per candidate % of total voteAverage % vote per candidateSaved DepositsNumber of MPs
2015 general election
NHA campaign launch 2015. From left to right: Richard Taylor, Paul Hobday, John Lamport, Clive Peedell, Helen Salisbury, Karen Howell, Roseanne Edwards, Louise Irvine, Dave Ash.

The party stood 12 candidates in the 2015 general election.[22] Targeted seats included those of leading proponents of the Health and Social Care Bill such as David Cameron and Jeremy Hunt. The candidates were:[23]

Candidate Constituency Votes %
Dave Ash Sutton and Cheam 345 0.7%
Roseanne Edwards Banbury 729 1.3%
Rik Evans Truro and Falmouth 526 1.0%
Rebecca Fox Camberwell and Peckham 466 0.9%
Dr. Bob Gill Old Bexley and Sidcup 1,216 2.6%
Dr. Paul Hobday Maidstone and The Weald 583 1.2%
Karen Howell Stafford 1,701 3.5%
Dr. Louise Irvine South West Surrey 4,851 8.5%
Dr. Clive Peedell Witney 616 1.1%
Dr. Helen Salisbury Oxford West and Abingdon 723 1.3%
Dr. Richard Taylor Wyre Forest 7,211 14.6%
Dr. Carl Walker East Worthing and Shoreham 1,243 2.5%

Among the twelve candidates, the party won no seats and only saved two deposits (i.e. won more than 5%). Their best result came in Wyre Forest, where Dr Taylor (who had previously won the seat twice for the Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern party) came 4th with 14.6% of the vote. Dr Irvine came 4th with 8.5% in South West Surrey.

2017 general election

The party stood five candidates at the 2017 general election.[24] Food blogger and activist Jack Monroe was announced as the NHA Party candidate for Southend West,[25] but withdrew due to ill health and receiving death threats.[26] The candidates standing were:

Candidate Constituency Votes % Change from 2015
Dr Louise Irvine South West Surrey 12,093 20.0% 11.5%
Dr Carl Walker East Worthing and Shoreham 575 1.1% 1.4%
Mark Jarnell South Ribble 341 0.6% n/a
Dr John Dean Central Devon 871 1.5% n/a
Neal Stote Redditch 2,239 5% n/a

Local election results

YearCandidatesTotal votesAverage votes per candidateAverage % vote per candidateNumber of Councillors

European Parliament election results

YearLondon constituencyMEPs elected

By-election results

of votes
 % of
Eastleigh28 February 2013Iain Maclennan3920.96th
Witney20 October 2016Helen Salisbury4331.16th


  1. "National Health Action Party official website". Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  2. "Former MP to lead new political party opposed to NHS changes". BBC News. 14 May 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
  3. Stamp, Gavin (22 May 2012). "Can 'Save NHS' party make an impact at the ballot box?". BBC News. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
  4. Torjesen, Ingrid (25 May 2012). "Doctors opposed to NHS reforms set up a new political party". BMJ. London: BMJ Group. 344: e3734. doi:10.1136/bmj.e3734. ISSN 1756-1833. PMID 22636788. S2CID 11227842. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  5. "Election 2015: NHA Party 'serious about fixing the NHS'".
  6. "IoS letters: Medics launch national campaign". 18 March 2012.
  7. "Doctors launch National Health Action party in London". 15 November 2012 via
  8. "Eastleigh by-election: Lib Dems hold on despite UKIP surge". BBC News. 1 March 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  9. "Results of the 2015 General Election - Election 2015". BBC News.
  10. "Wyre Forest Parliamentary constituency". BBC News. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  11. "National Health Action Party gets interim leader after founder resigns | The BMJ". Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  12. "AGM 2016 – Ballot Results". Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  13. "Christmas message from the National Health Action Party". 24 December 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  14. "Mark Haddon: 'The London theatre world is so much more alive than contemporary fiction'". Evening Standard. 12 March 2013.
  15. "In this week's magazine The power struggle". 5 May 2015. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  16. "Whichever party spouts it, talk of the NHS budget being ring-fenced is a complete fallacy". 23 April 2015. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  17. "Labour values, the NHS and me". 27 August 2015. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  18. "BBC News - Rufus Hound in Euro elections NHS bid". 26 January 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
  19. "NHA website - Policies". Archived from the original on 29 June 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  20. "Our 2017 Manifesto - NHA Party". Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  21. "Results of the 2017 General Election". BBC News.
  22. "Election 2015: A party with a prescription for the NHS?". BBC News. 30 April 2015. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  23. "Our Euro Election Candidates - NHA Party".
  24. "Just when you thought there couldn't be another election... - NHA Party".
  25. "BBC News - Jack Monroe to stand for National Health Action Party". BBC. 29 April 2017. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  26. "Jack Monroe abandons MP bid after 'death threats sent to her home'". London Evening Standard. 11 May 2017.


  1. All are also members of Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern
  2. It also has 1 councillor on Kidderminster Town Council but is also a member of Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern