Even Tories regret what they’ve done to the NHS

Conservative MP Stephen Dorrell accuses his party of caring more about headlines than patients


In an interview with The Observer this weekend, Tory MP Stephen Dorrell said that he regards the 2012 Health and Social Care Act as the biggest mistake of this parliament.

The Bill was forced through Commons by Andrew Lansley despite a chorus of opposition from within the health sector,and Dorrell, former chair of the Health Select Committee, was frank in his criticism of Lansley:

“Politicians have always been interested in headlines, of course they have. But they have become more willing to settle for a story than a policy.”

He said that the massive top-down reorganisation of the healthcare system had been unnecessary, and had cost the NHS the resources needed to improve the quality of the service:

“There is no such thing as a perfect management structure, but the irony is that every time you change the management structure, the managers focus on changing management. What they don’t do is focus on changing healthcare.”

Meanwhile, the UK looks set to be snubbed by the UN as David Cameron’s bid to install Lansley as under-secretary general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief looks set to fail. The prime minister has faced criticism for trying to fast track Lansley into the senior role despite the fact that he is not the best qualified candidate. Lansley’s record at home makes him a dubious choice to lead an international humanitarian relief programme.

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