NHS: Debt - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:52 pm on 23rd January 2017.

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Photo of Lord Maude of Horsham Lord Maude of Horsham Conservative 2:52 pm, 23rd January 2017

My Lords, will my noble friend reflect on the contribution that could be made to addressing the problem of overspending by NHS trusts, which has contributed to the growing deficit to which the Question refers, by reviving the programme of health service mutuals? Under the coalition Government, some tens of thousands of health service workers put themselves into not-for-profit social enterprises—staff-led and staff-owned—which showed a dramatic improvement in productivity and quality, and cut costs. A revival of this process, which has been slightly stifled, I suspect, by the attitude of the NHS establishment, could make a major contribution to improving productivity in the health service.