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

No.

We are giving foundation trusts freedom to generate revenue from other sources that can be invested directly into the NHS. When Moorfields, for example, sets up a clinic in the middle east in a joint venture, should we say, “No, you’re not allowed to do that, because it might imperil your ability to support NHS patients”? Actually, it will help their ability to do so, with NHS Global encouraging the NHS.

I believe in the NHS and in the ability of NHS hospitals and providers, which in the past have had their horizons limited, to move beyond those horizons and deliver much better care. That can include turning them into international providers of choice in joint ventures across the world, and even joint ventures in this country, whether in research or the provision of additional services. However, as I explained to the right hon. Member for Leigh in an intervention, under the Health and Social Care Bill the principal purpose of any foundation trust will be the provision of NHS services. Doing anything that would be to the detriment of its provision of NHS services would be unlawful. Foundation trusts cannot cross-subsidise from NHS services into private services.