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Barts Health NHS Trust

Part of Energy and Climate Change – in the House of Commons at 10:31 am on 19th March 2015.

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Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health 10:31 am, 19th March 2015

The whole House will have noted that the right hon. Gentleman asked why the report has only just come out. He might reflect on his own time in office, when there were reports that did not come out at all just before the general election. If there is any better example of weaponising the NHS—we have just seen it.

Instead of trying to make political capital, should the right hon. Gentleman not admit that the new CQC inspection regime illustrates exactly why transparency is so important, and why this Government were right to implement it?

Under the previous Government, failures of care were swept under the carpet and not acted on, which led to the tragic consequences we know about. Before the last general election, Labour tried to block the publication of a devastating report into Basildon and Thurrock hospital. [Interruption.] These are serious matters, and that is exactly why the CQC inspection has to be taken seriously. As I have said, local management is looking at these important issues, some of which we have debated before in the House, and which need to be addressed very seriously. However, the hospital management are beginning to do that, and they must take such action to ensure that they bring care up to the right standards.

All the things that the CQC has identified have to be addressed. As I have said, this illustrates exactly why the new CQC inspection regime is so important. Even now, a week before Parliament dissolves before the general election, this Government are committed, without fear or favour, to transparency and to bringing out this report. We are committed to ensuring that we put into the public domain the measures that need to be taken to put that hospital back on track and to ensuring that its patients can have confidence in the safety of its operation.