Addressing delegates at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham on Tuesday, Andrew Lansley said that change is needed in the NHS and that he will not ‘delay or dither’ with plans for reorganisation.
The pledge has provoked criticism from unions, who said it was a ‘disgrace’ that the government was ploughing ahead with plans despite concerns from health professionals.
He said: ‘It took Labour three years, after 1997, just to publish a plan about what they wanted to do in the NHS.
‘Even then, there was no coherence; no consistency. There was no unity of purpose: a divided government, which picked up the baton of reform, but dropped it as soon as it got hot.'
Unison launched an attack on the health secretary’s speech, calling it a ‘disgrace’ that Mr Lansley was pushing ahead with his plans, despite ‘serious concerns’ of health professionals.
Unison's general secretary Dave Prentis said: ‘Although he says he wants to put patients in the driving seat, these are just warm words. Mr Lansley has not asked the public what they think, nor were these proposals in the Tory manifesto - nobody voted for them.’
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