MPs offer clarification on NHS reforms

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City MPs, Mark Lancaster and Iain Stewart have issued residents with clarification and reassurances regarding NHS reforms.

Both have received a number of contacts from people asking to clear up issues they have raised.

The letter reads:

“We are writing to provide some clarification and offer reassurances to residents on the ongoing NHS reforms.

The NHS is one of the things that make this country great: healthcare for all, free at the point of use, unrelated to the ability to pay. And that’s the way it will stay.

The NHS needs reform because people are living longer and have the right to more complex new treatment and more choices about where to receive it. However, the cost of medicines has been rising by £600 million per year. Continuing as we are will put at risk the chances of our children inheriting an NHS which has in so many ways stood us in good stead.

The Government is investing £12.5 billion in the NHS over the next four years – that’s the equivalent of one in every seven pounds of public money. But, simply putting in more money without reform won’t meet the healthcare needs of this and subsequent generations.

First, we are making sure that patients get the best possible treatment. We are doing this by putting doctors and nurses, the people who best understand their patients, in charge of the NHS and by allowing patients to make informed choices about when and how they are treated.

Secondly, we are getting more money to the front line. One way we are doing that is by cutting bureaucracy and reducing waste. We’re taking power away from bureaucrats and putting it in the hands of the people best placed to use it – GPs. In addition, we will save some £5 billion being wasted in current administration budgets in this parliament. Under the previous Labour Government, the private sector was paid £250 million for operations that never happened. £6.4 billion was wasted on the NHS supercomputer. Under a Labour PFI contract, it cost £333 to change a light switch.

Thirdly, we are making sure that there’s a better fit between health and social care bringing together health, hospitals, housing and social services care. We are doing this not by imposing a top-down diktat but by giving power to local boards focused on local health and well-being.

Using competition to help achieve all this shouldn’t be seen as privatisation. It’s a means of giving greater choice to patients to get the high quality care they require. Private companies and the NHS have worked hand-in-hand since 1948. The Health Bill for the first time ever outlaws favouring the private sector over existing state health providers.

The Government, through these reforms, is committed to more money for the NHS, more freedoms for the NHS and a better future for the NHS.”