MPs reject call to scrap Health Bill

MPs have voted to reject another call from the Labour party to scrap the Health Bill despite warnings that it is the 'longest and most incoherent suicide note in NHS history'.

Mr Burnham: 'A reorganisation is precisely the last thing the NHS needs right now.'
Mr Burnham: 'A reorganisation is precisely the last thing the NHS needs right now.'

In a NHS reform debate on Wednesday in the Commons, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham attacked the government’s reform plans, warning that the Health Bill will ‘unpick the fabric of the NHS’.

He repeated his offer to the government that the Labour party would work with the government to establish clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) if the Health Bill was scrapped.

He said: ‘A reorganisation is precisely the last thing the NHS needs right now. The government has picked up the pieces of the jigsaw and thrown them up in the air. Grip has been lost, the NHS is drifting.’

Liberal Democrat MP Andrew George (St Ives, Cornwall) also labelled the Bill the longest and most incoherent suicide note in NHS history.

But 307 MPs voted against the call for the Health Bill to be scrapped compared with 228 in favour.

In a tough-talking speech in the House of Commons, Mr Burnham also made a direct attack on David Cameron for breaking his election promise to end top-down reorganisations.

He said: ‘The abandonment of this pledge [to stop down top-down reorganisations in the NHS] is the prime minister's biggest single mistake in office and if he ploughs on he will ultimately pay a heavy price.'

Mr Burnham also said the prime minister had U-turned on his promise to increase NHS funding in real terms. He said Treasury documents show NHS funding in 2010/11 has been reduced, outlining that this represents the first real-terms cut in health spending in 14 years.

He said: ‘He and his honourable friends stood at the election with those airbrushed posters all around promising not to cut the NHS funding. But in their first year in office they delivered a real- terms cut to the NHS.’

But health secretary Andrew Lansley said the government has not ordered any cuts to the NHS in 2010/11.

He said: ‘The amount of money available to the NHS in 2010/11 was exactly the same amount of money that was determined by the Labour party under its own plans.’

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

First-dose COVID-19 vaccine supply for GP sites to stop completely for a fortnight

First-dose COVID-19 vaccine supply for GP sites to stop completely for a fortnight

Supplies of COVID-19 vaccine for first-dose vaccinations at GP-led vaccination sites...

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...

More than 70% of COVID-19 jabs this month have been second doses

More than 70% of COVID-19 jabs this month have been second doses

More than seven in 10 COVID-19 jabs administered UK-wide since the start of April...

Accountant's theft of more than £60,000 from GP practices uncovered in pandemic

Accountant's theft of more than £60,000 from GP practices uncovered in pandemic

An accountant has been handed a suspended jail term after stealing more than £60,000...

GMC to contact thousands of GPs due to revalidate from August

GMC to contact thousands of GPs due to revalidate from August

The GMC is writing to thousands of doctors due to revalidate from August to set out...

NHS England spells out next steps as GPs told to cancel AZ jabs booked for under-30s

NHS England spells out next steps as GPs told to cancel AZ jabs booked for under-30s

GP-led vaccination sites should offer under-30s due to receive a first dose of AstraZeneca...