Lansley in 'fight of his life' over White Paper reforms

Former health secretary Andy Burnham has warned prime minister David Cameron to expect the 'fight of his life' over the NHS White Paper reforms.

Andy Burnham has accused the Conservatives of an 'epic U-turn' (Photograph: Charlie MacDonald)
Andy Burnham has accused the Conservatives of an 'epic U-turn' (Photograph: Charlie MacDonald)

Speaking to the Labour party conference in Manchester last week, Mr Burnham said Mr Cameron must 'put these dangerous plans on hold' and 'give the NHS the stability it needs'.

'If you don't, get ready for the fight of your life - and the public will be on our side, not yours,'

he said. The tub-thumping speech came as the union Unison secured a date to begin legal proceedings against health secretary Andrew Lansley.

The union claims Mr Lansley is initiating his sweeping White Paper reforms before there has been adequate consultation.

From 14 October the union will attend a court hearing to argue for a judicial review against the health secretary.

Representatives from rival union Unite told the Labour conference the White Paper was 'the biggest onslaught on the health service since 1948'.

Mr Burnham said the coalition government had 'no mandate' for the 'break-up of a successful NHS'.

'We have GPs wondering when they signed up to become the managers of markets and multi-million pound budgets.

'Patients aren't asking for it. GPs and NHS staff don't want it. The public did not vote for it. People will not forgive you for it,' he said.

Mr Burnham said the government had performed an 'epic U-turn' since its post-election promise of 'no more top-down reforms of the NHS'.

'It is nothing short of scandalous to spend up to £3 billion on a political experiment with our NHS at a time when every single penny is needed to maintain jobs and standards of patient care,' Mr Burnham said.

Visit GP's White Paper resource centre

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Vaccination tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK have led the largest-ever NHS vaccination programme in response...

RCGP chair Professor Martin Marshall

Hand PCNs control of primary care infrastructure funding, says RCGP

CCG funding for primary care infrastructure should be handed to PCNs when the bodies...

Professor Martin Marshall and Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: RCGP chair Professor Martin Marshall

Talking General Practice speaks to RCGP chair Professor Martin Marshall.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul

In-house review not enough to stop 'unjust' GMC referrals, warns BMA

Doctors' leaders have repeated calls for a full independent review of the GMC referral...

Coronavirus

How widespread is long COVID in the UK?

Millions of people in the UK are living with long COVID. GPonline looks at the data...

COVID-19 vaccination sign

GP contract for autumn COVID-19 booster campaign due shortly

GP practices in England will be invited shortly to sign up for the COVID-19 autumn...