NHS (Private Sector)

Part of Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 7:17 pm on 16th January 2012.

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Photo of Andy Burnham Andy Burnham Shadow Secretary of State for Health 7:17 pm, 16th January 2012

My argument would be that if those decisions are to be made, the people who make them should be accountable to the hon. Gentleman and the House, whereas the Bill that his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is introducing proposes to push those things away. There will be an independent commissioning board that GPs and clinical commissioning groups will not be able to overturn; it will make the decisions. That is a completely unacceptable state of affairs.

Before the last election, we proposed a modest loosening of the private patient cap in response to pressure in another place when we were debating the Health Act 2009, but compared with our modest reforms, the Government’s plans are off the scale. Instead of private sector activity at the margins, the Health and Social Care Bill places market forces at the heart of the system. The private sector will not support the NHS, but will replace large chunks of the service in commissioning and provision.