NHS Reforms Halted For 'Listening Exercise'

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14 Apr 2011

Last week saw the Government’s NHS reforms called to a halt for a two month ‘listening exercise’ in the face of opposition from doctors, clinicians, health workers and patient groups up and down the country.

What happens next and when is anyone’s guess. For patients, doctors and health workers this halt is probably a relief. However this pause needs to result in significant changes to the current plan if the reforms are to succeed and win support.

Despite receiving over 6,000 responses to their own consultation and rejecting over 100 amendments during the committee stage of the Health and Social Care Bill, only now have the Government decided to listen to criticism of their reforms.

This listening exercise looks like it could be another PR stunt, yet in the meantime doctors and other health workers are left treading water- wondering what on earth is going on. Here in the Rother Valley, local people have a right to know what is going on.

Without clear vision and direction the health service will suffer. Such radical reforms, so poorly executed will distract the NHS from patient care. The Government itself has recently admitted that waiting times are on the rise.

I am working with local people, patients and health workers to protect our NHS and to ensure significant changes to the Bill. In Parliament, we will await the return of the Bill sooner rather than later.