Forcing Monitor to promote integration won't change 'heart' of Health Bill

Putting a duty on Monitor to support integration not competition does not go far enough as it will not change the 'heart of the Bill', a shadow health minister has said.

Ms Kendall: it would be difficult to amend the clauses in a way that will prevent ‘full blown competition’
Ms Kendall: it would be difficult to amend the clauses in a way that will prevent ‘full blown competition’

It comes as the debate around Monitor’s role intensifies, with reports suggesting that deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is preparing to oppose the idea of a regulator to promote competition in the NHS.

Speaking at a Westminster Health Forum event on the NHS reforms, Liz Kendall (Labour, Leicester West) raised concerns that 82 out of 282 clauses in the Health Bill are about competition and the role of Monitor to enforce it.

She said it will be ‘extremely difficult’ to amend the clauses in a way that will prevent ‘full blown competition’.

‘Just inserting a few words about promoting collaboration will not change the heart of the Bill,’ she said.

Meanwhile, David Worskett, director of the NHS Confederation’s NHS Partners, said the Health Bill clauses around Monitor should be written ‘much more sensibly’, particularly the ‘plonking duty to promote competition’.

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