Health And Social Care Bill
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01 Feb 2011
Yesterday in Parliament I spoke out against the Health and Social Care Bill, in which the Government proposes to give GPs control of NHS budgets and give local authorities responsibilities for local health services and social care.
Unfortunately these much vaunted aims are the tip of the iceberg in this particular piece of legislation, as the hidden changes lie in opening up the NHS completely to the private sector and introducing competition on price. Almost every expert says competition on price is dangerous and risks patient care. Such a reorganisation will cost £3 billion at a time when the NHS has to make unprecedented efficiency savings of £20 billion.
The Health Secretary seems determined to push through this Bill despite criticism from patient groups, professional bodies and health experts. They have attacked the plans as high cost, high risk, a danger to key health services and a distraction from the need to find efficiencies.