The proposed NHS Reinstatement Bill is the wrong approach to improving the NHS. The Government has always been clear that it is committed to protecting our health service and will not privatise the NHS. This is why it has increased NHS spending and guaranteed that it will always provide treatment for free, regardless of ability to pay.
The use of private providers in the delivery of NHS services is not a new concept and they have worked in partnership for many years. It was under the Labour Government between 1997 and 2010 that the Government of the day introduced the independent sector and competition into our health service. The use of private providers in the NHS represent around 6 pence in every pound the NHS spends- an increase of just 1 pence since 2010, and continues to provide good quality care to patients
This Bill seeks to unravel the framework put in place under the Health & Social Care Act 2012, which provides the agenda to enable patients to be treated by the providers that are most able to meet their needs and give patients greater individual choice and control over their care. It also allows local doctors and nurses to decide who provides the best care for patients.
I have long campaigned for Dover's fair share of healthcare, and success was granted last June when Dover Hospital opened on the Coombe Valley Road. I have also long called for Deal Hospital to be used as a base for more local health services, giving them a greater role in a range of services. Giving doctors the operational control for the day-to-day running of services is the right decision because they have the best understanding of their patients and local needs.
My plan is to build on the Health and Social Care Hub and secure even more services at Dover Hospital. This Bill would undermine the practices to do this and will undo all the hard work achieved so far.