Health And Social Care Bill Committee

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09 Mar 2011

I am currently sitting on the Health and Social Care Bill Committee which is reviewing the fine print of the Government’s controversial Health and Social Care Bill.

The Government have recently performed a u-turn on a key plank of the Bill that would have allowed price competition into the NHS, making it easier for companies to outbid each other to provide cheaper services.

Faced with pressure from Shadow Health Secretary John Healey and health sector experts, who highlighted how lower prices in health services almost always lead to lower quality care, the Government was forced to drop the move.

Less than two weeks after urgent clarification was sought from the Health Secretary over efforts to turn the NHS into a free market, Ministers now insist they never wanted prices competition in the first place. Such chaos and incompetence in how they run government has the potential to impact negatively on every family doctor’s surgery.

The Government’s plan to waste £2 billion on an unnecessary top-down re-organisation of the NHS is descending into disarray. We are witnessing almost weekly flip-flops over a Bill which no-one seems to want apart from the Prime Minister and his Health Secretary.