Lansley to delay controversial plans
PUBLISHED: 13:27 05 April 2011
HEALTH Secretary Andrew Lansley has announced his controversial plans to reform the NHS are to be delayed.
The MP for South Cambridgeshire told MPs there were “genuine concerns” with the health bill which sees primary care trusts, such as NHS Cambridgeshire, abolished and GPs handed the responsibility for commissioning health services.
Mr Lansley told the House of Commons he did not know how long the delay would last but said the Government would listen to concerns surrounding the proposals which would see the biggest overhaul of the NHS in its 63-year history.
He said: “We want to continue to listen to, engage with and learn from experts, patients and frontline staff within the NHS and beyond and to respond accordingly.
“I can therefore tell the house that we propose to take the opportunity to take a natural break in the passage of the bill - to pause, to listen and to engage with all those who want the NHS to succeed and to subsequently bring forward amendments to improve the plans further in the normal way.”
Mr Lansley’s health bill has been criticised for allowing private companies to bid for NHS work as well as profits potentially being put before patient care when groups of GPs - or consortia - are put in charge of managing budgets.
Shadow health secretary John Healey said Prime Minister David Cameron should have told voters about his plans – which were unveiled in July - before May’s General Election.
He said: “In the middle of confusion, chaos and incompetence, the Prime Minister has pushed the Health Secretary out of the bunker to try and tell people what exactly and what on earth they are doing with the NHS.
“But why is the Health Secretary here and not the Prime Minister? After all, we are told he is in charge now.”