Andrew Lansley’s Commons statement on the Government’s decision to pause and think further on the Health and Social Care Bill was read in our Chamber by Earl Howe this evening, a sensible decision given the political noise. Lady Thornton doesn’t like it, very few people like it. I may prove to be the only person in Parliament who does like it! It’s very peculiar. There isn’t a key policy in the Health and Social Care Bill which wasn’t first introduced by the Labour party when in Government (and the NHS was equally oppositional then too). And it turned out when Lord Owen delivered his ‘exocet’ that he’d got completely the wrong end of the stick about the competition policy, simply misread it. There’s an awful lot of misreading going on. Ah, politics.
Could it be that the vested interests in the NHS have a serious interest in ensuring that nothing much changes? The exam question is what policies will best ensure the NHS is sustainable in the longer term as described in the NHS Constitution, fit for the purpose of addressing long term conditions and improving quality of care and improving its poor productivity. Cost effective answers on a postcard please.