It is time the Health Secretary told us who is fully in support of the NHS reorganisation and the legislation. NHS staff, dedicated to the part that they play in our NHS, will strive to keep things going whatever the pressures, but patients are starting to see operations cancelled, waiting times rise, hospital services at risk, front-line staff jobs cut and services cut. This is not what people expected when the Prime Minister said that he would “protect the NHS”. Instead, they are seeing the Prime Minister’s NHS promises to “protect front-line services”, to “give the NHS a real rise in funding”, and to “stop top-down reorganisations that get in the way of patient care” all broken. The NHS was the Prime Minister’s most personal pledge. It is now becoming his biggest broken promise.
Now is the time to listen to the chorus of criticism and concern, and to recognise the growing crisis of confidence in the Government’s handling of the health service. Now is the time to call a time out, pause the passage of the Bill in Parliament, and think again. I commend the motion to the House.