Labour MP for Poplar & Limehouse Jim Fitzpatrick about the new NHS regulations
PUBLISHED: 14:34 20 March 2013 | UPDATED: 14:34 20 March 2013
A lot of constituents have contacted me about the Government’s plans to introduce new regulations on competition in the NHS under Section 75 of the 2012 Health and Social Care Act. Last week they received good news, the Government informed Parliament that will change course in light of the overwhelming concern that has been expressed by MPs and the 350,000 people who signed the 38 degrees petition.
People were rightly concerned that new regulations that would have led to compulsory tendering across the NHS, exposing the country’s health service to the full force of competition law. I supported calls for these regulations to be withdrawn and it is now vital that the Government give a categorical assurance that they will not simply bring back these proposals through the back door. The NHS has also been in the news for another reason. The Mid-Staffordshire report added to a growing public concern about our NHS, a service which we all depend on if something happens to us.
What we need from the government to answer the public on these legitimate concerns about privatisation and patient care is more transparency and accountability. People want to know what the government has planned for the NHS and they want reassurances that the failings at Mid Staffs won’t happen again. How do we this? Day in day out the NHS delivers great care to patients up and down the country and is often ranked as one of the best health systems in the world. But it can’t be given any special treatment above any other departments, when someone complains we must listen and when major changes are planned the Government must be honest. Going forward I’d like to see an honest debate about the future of the NHS, one which recognises previous failings and addresses privatisation concerns.