The Government brought the Health and Care Bill before the House of Commons for its Second Reading. This legislation consolidates NHS bodies and hands greater political control to the Secretary of State. As the Government prioritises this top-down reorganisation of the NHS, I am concerned about the loss of local accountability and the further permitting of the private sector to sit on local boards. The Government’s proposals also fail to reinstate the NHS as the default provider.
I therefore voted against this Bill at Second Reading. The Government’s privatisation and underfunding over a decade have left our health service facing staff shortages of over 100,000 and our worst ever waiting times. The Conservative solution to the problems caused by their policies is a bureaucratic restructuring, rather than properly funding and staffing the NHS. I want to see a comprehensive plan to strengthen our health service with proper pay and staffing levels, insourced care, and integrated social care.