Stevens, the former boss of large American health corporation UnitedHealth says that “accountable care organisations or systems…will for the first time since 1990 effectively end the purchaser-provider split, bringing about integrated funding and delivery for a given geographical population”.

Only that can’t happen because commercial contracting is established in primary legislation. Implementation of the split, first introduced by the NHS and Community Care Act 1990, was completed by the 2012 Act with the abolition of the duty [of the Secretary of State for Health] to provide a health service, and with removal of primary care trusts (PCTs).

We all support integration of health and community services in principle, but how does integration happen when ACOs would further fragment staff, services and care through ever-increasing subcontracting? And how do we unite the areas when health and social care have different population and funding basis? Social care is means-tested and charged for and health care is free - leading to ACOs potentially blurring the boundaries.

There are several reasons to be concerned about the attack on the fundamental principles of the NHS that ACOs involve. A full appreciation of the changes is hampered by the government and NHS England not having explained clearly to the public exactly what is being proposed.

This is why myself and four others including Professor Stephen Hawking have begun legal proceedings against Stevens and Hunt, crowdfunding £176,000 through over 6,000 donations. Our challenge is on the grounds that without an Act of Parliament these plans are unlawful, that there should be proper public consultation and that the principles which say decisions about our NHS should be clear and transparent have been breached.

This is something which affects everyone in England and as we face the catastrophic fallout from the collapse of Carillion it should be unthinkable to introduce more outsourcing and more long term, private sector contracts, especially when it comes to something as important as our NHS.