Labour MP Bill Esterson tells Parliament that the Tory-Lib Dem G

Bill Esterson

 

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson said Labour had forced the Tories and Lib Dems in Government into a climb down over plans to privatise the NHS.

Speaking in Parliament in a Labour-called debate on plans by the Tories and Lib Dems to contract out services in the NHS, Bill Esterson said the government was making the privatisation of the NHS "inevitable".

Bill told Lib Dem Health Minister Norman Lamb: "My constituent Terry Eastham tells me that the new regulations in the NHS will make privatisation swift and inevitable. If Clinical Commissioning Groups do not advertise services to full and open competition private health companies will be able to mount a legal challenge. The truth is this is full scale privatisation of our health service as Labour MPs have been warning since the Tories and Lib Dems came to power three years ago."

But shortly after the debate, the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Government announced a climb as it confirmed a rewrite of the rules around NHS commissioning.

Bill said: "My Labour colleague Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham has repeatedly raised concerns about the Tory-Lib Dem Government's determination to privatise the National Health Service.

"From April, the new Clinical Commissioning Groups in Sefton will be taking on their new roles, but now without the guidance of the government.

"The guidance must be to ensure that the NHS is the primary supplier of services. If we don't get that, then the NHS will end up being run down with vital services going to private companies whose primary aim is to make profits.

"It is a road which the Tories and Lib Dems seem determined to go down, despite the repeated warnings of the health professionals, including thousands of doctors, nurses and even the Academy of Royal Medical Colleges who warned that the changes could cause 'dangerous' fragmentation of health services..

"However, today's announcement that they would rewrite the rules around commissioning is welcomed, but only cast iron assurances that the NHS will be the primary supplier of health services in this country will be acceptable.

"That's the message from my constituents who have contacted me in their hundreds expressing concerns that the Tories and Lib Dems are selling the NHS down the river."