March 2016 – NHS Bill Debate, 11th March

March 2016 – NHS Bill Debate, 11th March

Thank you for your email regarding the National Health Service Bill and the debate on the 11th of March.

I was not able to attend this particular debate due to a full day of constituency engagements in Selby, Tadcaster, and Sherburn.

On the policy issues you raised, I believe that the proposed Bill would be an unnecessary upheaval and the wrong approach to improving the NHS. You may be interested to know that an authoritative comparative study of the performance of different national health systems recently concluded that the NHS, from 2010 to 2015 was the best health service in the world.

I think this is a ringing endorsement of the Government’s decision to reform the NHS and to invest over £7 billion extra funding in real terms in the health service during the last Parliament. There are now 1.3 million more operations being delivered each year compared to 2010, over 10,500 more doctors and 5,800 more nurses. I am also proud that the Prime Minister has promised to continue this investment in the new Parliament with over £10 billion addition NHS spending in real terms. This will mean spending on the NHS will rise in every year in real-terms.

In my view, giving operational control for the day-to-day running of services to doctors was the right decision – but the Government has always been clear that Ministers are responsible for the NHS, and I am proud of its performance in challenging circumstances. The Government’s health reforms have focused on the role of the clinician, believing that they are best placed to commission local health services, as they have the best understanding of local needs.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.