Healey: “Cameron is a PR man looking for a PR answer”

Shadow health secretary John Healey criticised the prime minister today over the government's response to its own NHS plans, reports Left Foot Forward's Shamik Das.

Shadow health secretary John Healey criticised the prime minister today over the government’s response to its own NHS plans. It follows the tabling of an Opposition motion yesterday calling on Mr Cameron to recommit the Health and Social Care Bill to a Public Bill Committee, were the “listening exercise” and public consultations to bring about major changes to the ill thought out bill.


In a speech to the Royal Society of Medicine this morning, Mr Healey said:

“David Cameron is a PR man looking for a PR answer. He must accept the problem is not the presentation of his NHS plans but the full-blown free-market ideology behind them. This Tory ideology is totally at odds with the ethos of the NHS and the essential way it works…

“The test for the prime minister now is whether he makes the changes required to honour the promises he made to protect the NHS and guarantee patients that they will see health care get better not worse, and whether he makes the changes required to safeguard the NHS and prepare it to meet the challenges of the future…

“The risk is that the prime minister decides on a political fix to deal with divisions in his government not the dangers to our NHS… Whatever the prime minister decides to do with his NHS plans, this first year has raised serious questions about his judgement, competence, values and integrity.”

Earlier, when tabling the motion, he said:

“David Cameron has promised significant and substantial changes to his NHS plans. If he’s true to his word, he must also agree to full and proper scrutiny of the amended Bill by sending it back to Committee.”

Yesterday, Left Foot Forward reported concerns the health bill’s competition clauses were “tantamount to privatisation”, following Nick Clegg’s failure at Deputy Prime Minister’s Questions on Tuesday to say he would block part III of the health bill; we also reported how Mr Lansley was failing to listen to voters’ views on the bill, with 390,000 people having signed 38 Degrees’ “Save the NHS” petition.

As 38 Degrees’ executive director David Babbs put it:

“For a Secretary of State currently presiding over a high-profile listening exercise, Andrew Lansley has yet to convince many of us that listening is really something he’s interested in.

“38 Degrees members hope these adverts – [challenging Mr Lansley to start listening properly, to be run in major newspapers] – make more people aware of how they can work together to make their voices heard, and turn up the pressure on the Secretary of State to start genuinely listening, rather than just pretending he is.”

34 Responses to “Healey: “Cameron is a PR man looking for a PR answer””

  1. CllrJuderobinson

    Healey: "Cameron is a PR man looking for a PR answer": http://bit.ly/l0uY76 reports @ShamikDas #SaveTheNHS

  2. Marilyn Freeman

    Healey: "Cameron is a PR man looking for a PR answer": http://bit.ly/l0uY76 reports @ShamikDas #SaveTheNHS

  3. Tony Braisby

    Healey: "Cameron is a PR man looking for a PR answer": http://bit.ly/l0uY76 reports @ShamikDas #SaveTheNHS

  4. erica_pool

    Healey: "Cameron is a PR man looking for a PR answer": http://bit.ly/l0uY76 reports @ShamikDas #SaveTheNHS

  5. Michael

    “Cameron is a PR man looking for a PR answer” – http://j.mp/jxTLqR

  6. CllrJuderobinson

    “Cameron is a PR man looking for a PR answer” – http://j.mp/jxTLqR

  7. paulstpancras

    “Cameron is a PR man looking for a PR answer” – http://j.mp/jxTLqR

  8. paulstpancras

    RT @TheRightArticle “Cameron is a PR man looking for a PR answer” – http://j.mp/jxTLqR < "He's a real PR man, living in a PR land…"

  9. Sam Barnett-Cormack

    Healey: "Cameron is a PR man looking for a PR answer": http://bit.ly/l0uY76 reports @ShamikDas #SaveTheNHS

  10. Riven

    Healey: "Cameron is a PR man looking for a PR answer": http://bit.ly/l0uY76 reports @ShamikDas #SaveTheNHS

  11. Watching You

    “Cameron is a PR man looking for a PR answer” – http://j.mp/jxTLqR

  12. Elinor Predota

    Healey: "Cameron is a PR man looking for a PR answer": http://bit.ly/l0uY76 reports @ShamikDas #SaveTheNHS

  13. DPAC

    Healey: "Cameron is a PR man looking for a PR answer": http://bit.ly/l0uY76 reports @ShamikDas #SaveTheNHS

  14. Extradition Game

    RT @leftfootfwd: Healey: "Cameron is a PR man looking for a PR answer": http://bit.ly/l0uY76 reports @ShamikDas #SaveTheNHS via @UKactivist

  15. Jane Phillips

    “Cameron is a PR man looking for a PR answer” – http://j.mp/jxTLqR

  16. paurina

    “Cameron is a PR man looking for a PR answer” – http://j.mp/jxTLqR

  17. Ross Haynes

    Healey: "Cameron is a PR man looking for a PR answer": http://bit.ly/l0uY76 reports @ShamikDas #SaveTheNHS

  18. robert

    The big problem for Labour of course after the one off massive payment to the NHS it was then allowed to return to the old ways of debts. I saw this morning a chief executive of a failing hospital of elderly say yes we have learned the lessons we will act now, but why is it that when ever anything goes wrong the people at the top say we will learn.

    I was once in hospital with back injury and I fell out of bed six hours later I was seen, now you can blame the Tories but I was in during labour spell.

    It is time for Labour to tell us what it intends to do about education the NHS welfare, because I believe when it comes to pull and push the NHS under labour is not safe.

    Look at the NHS under Labour in Wales with massive cuts.

    Labour is looking for a battle ground but the people have moved on.

  19. UNISON Health

    Healey: "Cameron is a PR man looking for a PR answer" http://fb.me/W4aCmkW6

  20. Anon E Mouse

    After the appalling reports of the state of the care elderly and venerable people get in hospitals and considering the amount of money Labour wasted on the NHS, I’d have thought that John Healey should spend less time being insulting and a bit more time apologising to the people of this country for the incompetent way his government ran healthcare in this country.

    Labour need to realise that as much as they repeat their tractor statistics, it is human beings who are being let down by their shambolic management of the hospitals and John Healey should get back under whichever stone he’s crawled out from and stop trying to bury bad news.

    Another shameful day for the Labour Party however you spin it…

  21. George McLean

    @ 2. Anon E Mouse

    In other words, “Healey wants the bill re-examined because he sees policy flaws in it, not least being the marketisation of healthcare and inefficient service provision, but this should not happen because the previous government made mistakes”. How does that constructively address the concerns that even Cameron and Lansley (so they say) have over the bill?

  22. Anna Nicholson

    Healey: "Cameron is a PR man looking for a PR answer" http://fb.me/W4aCmkW6

  23. Ian Parker

    Healey: "Cameron is a PR man looking for a PR answer" http://fb.me/W4aCmkW6

  24. Anon E Mouse

    George McLean – And you don’t think it’s odd that this fine Labour blog hasn’t mentioned the fact that human beings are being treated is a disgusting manner by the NHS?

    You don’t think it’s weird that this useless disloyal MP should suddenly start spouting off his drivel on the very day the NHS comes in for criticism for the disgraceful way it’s staff have been behaving towards the weak in society?

    I know Labour have form on burying bad news but this is shocking and the sooner this dreadful man returns the £88k he stole from the taxpayer the better. You may consider attempting to smear the government is more important than caring about old people being left to starve in hospitals but I don’t and neither should this individual…

  25. George McLean

    @4. Anon E Mouse

    As I understand your post you believe that Healey is raising objections to the Health and Social Care bill because he wants to “smear the government” , not because he has objections to the bill, but because he doesn’t care about starving, maltreated patients. I still don’t see how that is a constructive contribution to this thread. What do you actually think about the issues that Healey has raised (that are shared by many others)?

  26. Anon E Mouse

    George McLean – Healey is spouting off to deflect the public from the real story today on the NHS where basic needs of patients are not being met.

    That is far more important than this waffle and if you see Healey ask him to return the public’s money then crawl back under his rock.

    On a day a doctor has to prescribe water to ensure a patient doesn’t die of thirst, I’d have thought this useless individual might have articulated an opinion on that. Labour just don’t get it…

  27. Jos Bell Lewisham SOS NHS

    As an RSM member I was able to attend this morning’s event, which had been planned long before the revelations about appalling poor care examples in specific hospitals – eg. Alexandra, Redditch; Royal Free – which have since thankfully been addressed.

    John Healey was undertaking a task which is commensurate with his role – that of analysing and challenging the Health & Social Care Bill. Indeed we have been awaiting the Shadow response, so it would have been very odd for this not to have been forthcoming!

    Whatever your views about today’s event, the fact remains that the Bill as presented is designed with the specific intent of dismantling and destroying the NHS – and in such a fashion that swathes of communities will end up without sufficient cover. Doctors will be forced to take into account the potential profit that can be made from their patients, not just how they cure and prevent illness with the best treatment.

    EU Competition Law may sound far removed from your GP appointment – and so it should be, however 83 clauses in this huge bill ( larger than the original one which launched the NHS ) are specifically designed to let in the flood gates of legal challenges by private companies to the commissioning decisions ( treatments ) made by Consortia – who will needs must waste precious funds to employ full time lawyers to fend off these assaults, whilst at the same time keeping their shareholders happy by reducing costs to maximise on profit. This is not in any way in the best interests of the patient.

    Overall, the most fundamental concern must be that this government has absolutely no interest in their statutory responsibilities for safeguarding services – from Clause 1 onwards the message is clear – the duty of the Secretary of State to ensure that every person in England has access to health provison which is free at the point of need would be terminated….

    Given also that they have tried to implement all of this before it has gone through due Parliamentary process and in defiance of democracy, then this shows the measure of their intent. Thus we continue to clarify the reality in the hope of ensuring that these would-be destroyers of the nation’s health are not allowed to have their way!

  28. George McLean

    @6. Anon E Mouse

    “if you see Healey ask him to return the public’s money then crawl back under his rock.”

    No. You do it: you’re the one with a personal grudge against him. I’d rather critique the bill constructively. Keep trolling!

  29. Anon E Mouse

    George McLean – Funnily enough being a lifelong Labour voter (pre-Brown) I do not have a lot of time for these dishonest types of careerists who steal our money and become rich from public service.

    I’m funny like that…

  30. George McLean

    @ 9. Anon E Mouse

    I was a 20+-year Labour Party member until the dishonesty of the Iraq invasion. Funnily enough, I also do not like dishonest careerists. But, having dealt with the bleeding obvious, I note that I’m still waiting for you to address the issues raised in the OP.

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    […] Thursday, in a speech (pdf) to the Royal College of Medicine, Mr Healey accused Mr Cameron of being “a PR man looking for a PR answer”, and told him to accept that the problem […]

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  33. Daniel Pitt

    Healey: "Cameron is a PR man looking for a PR answer": http://bit.ly/l0uY76 #ConDemNation

  34. So who backs Lansley's health reforms then? | Left Foot Forward

    […] prime minister – who want “substantial changes” – the Liberal Democrat conference, the Labour Party, GPs, the 390,000 people who signed the 38 Degrees petition against the reforms, midwives, Lord […]

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