NHS will not be privatised or undermined, says health secretary

Andrew Lansley has promised that the NHS will not be privatised, fragmented or undermined while he is health secretary.

Mr Lansley: the Health Bill will safeguard these values, will improve quality, reduce health inequalities and empower patients and staff.

In a keynote speech at the Conservative Party’s annual conference in Manchester on Tuesday, Mr Lansley said he is committed to ensure the NHS is a ‘comprehensive, high quality service’ free at the point of delivery.

He said the Health Bill will safeguard these values, will improve quality, reduce health inequalities and empower patients and staff.

Mr Lansley also criticised the Labour party and its ‘trade union puppetmasters’ for pushing ‘ludicrous lies’ about the NHS reforms plans.

He said: ‘We have all fought together as a team this year. Against misinterpretation, misinformation and misrepresentation from Labour and the left-wing unions about the plans we set out in our Health Bill.’

But shadow health minister Diane Abbott said Mr Lansley was like the ‘captain of the Titanic’ with his ‘blind faith in the unwanted reorganisation’ of the NHS.

She said: ‘On a day when over 400 public health professionals have condemned the government’s reorganisation, it is gross hypocrisy for Lansley to stand on a Conservative party platform and profess his admiration for nurses and health professionals.’

During his speech Mr Lansley also officially announced plans to roll out personal health budgets to 50,000 people eligible for NHS continuing care, as well as proposals to ensure doctors who do not have the necessary English language skills are not able to work in the NHS.

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