MP for Bolton North East

THE National Health Service is a topic that I know my constituents care deeply about because they write to me every time a new element of the Government’s Health and Social Care Bill is revealed.

I want to touch on some of the concerns that have been raised and explain why I believe this Bill should be dropped, for the good of our health service and for the good of our people.

Before the General Election, David Cameron promised that there would be no more top-down reorganising of the NHS, yet this Bill will bring about the single biggest top-down reorganisation of the NHS that we have ever seen.

The Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats both promised to protect spending on the NHS.

Money that is vital for front line services is now being diverted with the Government instructing the NHS to put aside £3.5 billion to cover the cost of restructuring, in addition to being asked to find £20 billion of efficiency savings.

The pain of cuts and uncertainty created by Cameron and Clegg’s broken promises are already being felt by patients across the country.

Waiting times have risen while nurse numbers are being reduced. Confusion reigns over who is responsible for public health campaigns and long-term planning is being pushed to one side.

The problems we are now starting to see will continue as the reorganisation goes on, and this is just the beginning.

It is clear that there will be more problems caused when the NHS is opened up to all providers, competition is put above all else, NHS hospitals are allowed to receive 49 per cent of income from private patients and the Secretary of State for Health is no longer responsible for providing or securing the provision of health services for everyone.

I am convinced that this Bill should be dropped now. It is wrong for the Government to force these changes on to society without proper public or Parliamentary scrutiny.

After all, they didn’t actually win the last election and neither party has a mandate for such revolutionary change.