Abbott: Cameron should be straight about his intentions on the NHS

Under the coalition's plans, the independent regulator Monitor, could have the twin role of promoting competition as well as integration of care.

David Cameron

Diane Abbott MP (Labour, Hackney North and Stoke Newington) is the shadow public health minister

The head of the Church of England is right to say that the coalition government is forcing through “radical policies for which no one voted”.

Nowhere is this more true perhaps than on their plans for the future of the NHS. As if to prove the point, we have just had a ‘listening exercise’ on the issue in which the government has heard little and learnt nothing

Dr Rowan Williams is also right to say:

“(The) government badly needs to hear just how much plain fear there is around questions such as these at present.”

He is right because David Cameron and Andrew Lansley’s ‘pause’ seems to have been a ‘listening exercise’ without any understanding. Indeed, if David Cameron really wants to make ‘substantial changes’ to his NHS plans, he should have the guts to admit his plans were a mistake in the first place.

The government should listen to the BMA who say that ‘the changes to competition may actually end up amounting to little more than “window-dressing”; they should listen to the 3700 of our GPs who are being forced into retirement by the strain being imposed by the government’s plans; and they should listen to patients who are beginning to suffer now that waiting times are continuing to rise past a three year high.

It is becoming clearer and clearer that neither David Cameron nor Nick Clegg, who voted for this NHS massacre at second reading, has grasped the scale of the problem.

The threat posed to our NHS by this government is a real one. Cameron’s chaotic proposals affect real people and real families.

Mr Cameron would do well to listen to the concerns of those people, up and down the country, who saw the harrowing pictures of abuse of vulnerable people at the Winterbourne View unit.  Meanwhile, another private care home contractor, Southern Cross, has taken emergency measures to avoid financial collapse.

On GP commissioning consortia, one of the concerns that Cameron will have heard during his pause is the public’s fear about the possible role of the private sector in GP commissioning. Although we all agree that the private sector has always had, and will always have, a role in the NHS, the Southern Cross Healthcare disaster shows the dangers of leaving health and social care to the short-term decisions of private equity bosses.

Indeed, under the coalition’s NHS plans, the independent regulator of NHS foundation trusts, Monitor, could now have the twin role of promoting competition as well as the integration of care.

The changes being announced by David Cameron and his media advisers are little more than breadcrumbs thrown to those people who have taken a stand against this reorganisation: ordinary members of the public, patient groups, professional bodies, health experts, coalition partners and aspiring rappers.

Leading the opposition to these plans is Labour and our message is loud and clear: start being straight about the far-reaching ideological changes in your health bill and drop your plan for a free market NHS.

At the heart of all the chaos, confusion and incompetence is one simple truth: you cannot trust the Tories on the NHS.

22 Responses to “Abbott: Cameron should be straight about his intentions on the NHS”

  1. Rayzor

    Abbott: Cameron should be straight about his intentions on the NHS: //bit.ly/jxqt3N shadow health minister @HackneyAbbott

  2. manishta sunnia

    Cameron should be straight about his intentions on the NHS: //t.co/tqpCF22 writes shadow health minister @HackneyAbbott

  3. Alan Cowan

    RT @leftfootfwd: Abbott: Cameron should be straight about his intentions on the NHS //t.co/54kuef1

  4. Gabe Trodd

    Cameron should be straight about his intentions on the NHS: //t.co/tqpCF22 writes shadow health minister @HackneyAbbott

  5. Diane Abbott MP

    RT @leftfootfwd: Abbott: Cameron should be straight about his intentions on the NHS //t.co/7wpNjgR

  6. Sophie Odgers-Roe

    RT @leftfootfwd: Abbott: Cameron should be straight about his intentions on the NHS //t.co/7wpNjgR

  7. Mabel Horrocks

    RT @leftfootfwd: Abbott: Cameron should be straight about his intentions on the NHS //t.co/7wpNjgR

  8. Fenrir

    RT @HackneyAbbott: RT @leftfootfwd:Cameron should be straight about his intentions on the NHS //t.co/7wpNjgR «He is, labour mendacity.

  9. 13eastie

    Is Dianne Abbott’s fundamental to competition and private provision in healthcare more, or less, sincere than her previously-voiced distaste for these things in education?

    As shadow junior minister for public health, are we to expect a single policy announcement from you on this important area of healthcare at any point during the current parliament?

    Or are you going to treat us all to another four years of spectacular back-seat driving?

  10. 13eastie

    excuse me, “…fundamental [OPPOSITION]…”

  11. Aaaaargh!

    I’m not defending the upcoming NHS cuts proposals but Diane Abbott should take a look at the mess the last Government has left the NHS in.

    We hear a lot about the investment they made in the NHS which is countered by claims of increases in management and consultants.

    All we want as users of the service is somewhere to be helped when we need it and to be treated with dignity.

    I’ve just blogged again on an ongoing problem my family are having and this can’t be blamed on the proposed cuts – //aaaaargh.wordpress.com/2011/06/09/n-h-mess/

  12. George McLean

    @3.”We hear a lot about the investment they made in the NHS which is countered by claims of increases in management and consultants.”

    And the new GP consortia will actually, via the private health corporations who will run them, employ larger number of accountants, lawyers and administrators than the PCTs they are replacing and with less accountability to patients.

  13. mr. Sensible

    Couldn’t agree more, Diane.

    In addition to Southern Cross, did you hear the reports in the media last weekend about concerns about Circle Health? I read about it last Sunday in the Observer.
    //www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/jun/05/questions-grow-over-circle-health

  14. Pucci Dellanno

    Cameron should be straight about his intentions on the NHS: //t.co/tqpCF22 writes shadow health minister @HackneyAbbott

  15. Trakgalvis

    Cameron should be straight about his intentions on the NHS: //t.co/tqpCF22 writes shadow health minister @HackneyAbbott

  16. vicki whelan

    Cameron should be straight about his intentions on the NHS: //t.co/tqpCF22 writes shadow health minister @HackneyAbbott

  17. SlashedUK

    Cameron should be straight about his intentions on the NHS: //t.co/tqpCF22 writes shadow health minister @HackneyAbbott

  18. Norma Stitz

    At the heart of all the chaos, confusion and incompetence is one simple truth – every Labour government has left the economy in a worse state than when they took power. Without the economy in good working it is hard to fund all the desireable projects we would like to.

  19. Louise Oliver

    RT @leftfootfwd: Abbott: Cameron should be straight about his intentions on the NHS //t.co/dygoNds

  20. Alison Orr

    RT @leftfootfwd: Abbott: Cameron should be straight about his intentions on the NHS //t.co/S5LQGBq

  21. Anon E Mouse

    As a fan of Diane Abbot I would just say that I remember her total Labour double standards over her children’s schooling and frankly I’ll take no lectures from this shameless hypocrite…

  22. Cam Salcedo

    I joined the NHS as a nurse in 2002 and saw first hand the results of major investment and workplace culture reform labour created. There was a greater emphasis on a clinical governance culture which called for evidence based practice, greater intraprofessional collaboration, more educational training, and patient involvement. The result was reduced infection rates, cleaner hospitals, more patient satisfaction, more nurses and doctors. For all the calamity against management and administration costs, it was that very infrastructure which chenged things for the better in the service and people need to be honest about that. Getting rid of the goal setting, targets, and auditing procedures means there is a dangerous, non accountable system in place. Unfortunately the days of the matron and bedside nurse are over and things have been become more complex. Why? Because we demand and deserve more. We also have a greater litigation culture. Cameron is right to say change is needed but I dont know about this change. It is very worrying because as an American (Im from New Jersey) I can remember the private sector in healthcare in the USA and believe me it stinks!

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