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

Forgive me, Mr Deputy Speaker, but I hardly know where to start, given the degree of ignorance associated with that point. Monitor does not decide who gets the service; patients and commissioners do, and the clinical commissioning groups determine how they commission the services. Quality is absolutely at the heart of the Bill, and at the heart of how we structure the statutory duties of all organisations concerned, but the hon. Gentleman goes on about the application of competition law. Actually, there is no extension of competition law in the NHS and no extension of EU competition law as a consequence of the Bill; it simply enables the NHS to have a health-specific regulator so that the application of competition law and EU competition rules, in so far as they apply because the Bill does not change their application at all, is carried out by a health sector regulator.

Myth No. 2 is that the impact of a wider range of providers in the NHS will drive down the quality of care, but we will give patients more choice and more control over their health care. If people are given clear information about the quality of different providers, they will, with their doctors and nurses helping as their commissioners, choose the provider that is best for them, and the Health and Social Care Bill means that all providers will compete on the quality of their services, not on the prices that they charge.

There will be no incentive for doctors to encourage their patients to opt for the cheapest option, because there will be no cheapest option; there will only be the best-quality option.