Scotland will not follow England into competitive NHS

Scotland will not follow England's lead to increase competition and privatisation in the NHS, Scottish health secretary Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Ms Sturgeon: English reform plans around increasing competition pose a 'real danger' and could signal 'the end of the NHS as we know it'
Ms Sturgeon: English reform plans around increasing competition pose a 'real danger' and could signal 'the end of the NHS as we know it'

Talking at the LMC conference in Glasgow, Nicola Sturgeon said increased competition in the NHS is 'not the future I want for Scotland'. But she said she supported an 'active role' for GPs in service planning and implementation.

Click here to keep up with all of the news from the Scottish LMCs conference

Ms Sturgeon warned that the English reform plans are 'damaging' and 'wrong headed'. She said the plans around increasing competition pose a 'real danger' and could signal 'the end of the NHS as we know it'.

'In opening up the postcode lottery that is an inevitable consequence of many of the proposed reforms, they risk removing the 'national' from the NHS,' she said. 'And opening up the health service to unfettered competition... risks removing the 'service' from the NHS too.'

Ms Sturgeon said it was right that Scottish GPs have a central role in planning services. But she said she does not favour the model proposed in England as it does not promote collaboration between primary and secondary care.

'There is no doubt in my mind that GPs can and do make a major contribution to improving health service and patient outcomes,' she said.

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