NHS use of private sector falls, claims Johnson

The use of the private sector in the NHS has fallen under Labour, health secretary Alan Johnson claimed last night.

Alan Johnson (photograph: JH Lancy)
Alan Johnson (photograph: JH Lancy)

In the last of a series of political lectures at BMA House in London last night, Mr Johnson used his time at the podium to defend Labour’s record and criticise Conservative health policy.

‘The element of the private sector has gone down from 1.4% to 1.2%,’ said Mr Johnson, who later said he hoped to end the ‘depressing’ argument about the use of the private sector.

Mr Johnson repeatedly attacked shadow Conservative health secretary Andrew Lansley’s policies. The proposal to make NHS independent of government was ‘ducking out’ of responsibility for it, he said.

Mr Johnson also said that ‘some absolute tosh’ had been written about the NHS’s IT programme, Connecting for Health, which was delayed but not over budget, he claimed. 

Responding to a delegate concerned about the safety of patient records, Mr Johnson said they may be used to contact people with certain illnesses for research.

tom.ireland@haymarket.com

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