NHS (Private Sector)

Part of Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 8:03 pm on 16th January 2012.

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Photo of Andrew Lansley Andrew Lansley The Secretary of State for Health 8:03 pm, 16th January 2012

If the right hon. Lady has any such evidence, she should give it to me. Let me explain that at the moment any individual member of NHS staff would be acting contrary to the NHS staff code of conduct if they saw a conflict between private sector and NHS activity and gave priority to private patients to the detriment of NHS patients. Technically speaking, under the legislation we inherited it is not explicitly unlawful for a foundation trust to do that but, as I explained to the right hon. Member for Leigh, a whole series of specific safeguards relating to the relationship between private and NHS activities was introduced to the Bill in another place. It makes it clear that the principal purpose of a foundation trust is to benefit NHS patients and NHS services. To do anything that is to the detriment of NHS patients will be unlawful. There are specific safeguards stating that foundation trusts cannot cross-subsidise between NHS activities and services and private services. If the right hon. Lady has information of a particular instance, she might as well give it to me.