NHS Reforms Concessions As Bill Prepares To Go Back To The Lords
The government has outlined two amendments to their controversial NHS reforms, in an attempt to shore up support before the plans go back to the Lords next week.
The changes mean that the secretary of state will be accountable for the health service "beyond doubt" and will, alongside the NHS commissioning board and clinical comissioning groups, have to report on progress in tackling health inequalities.
Comissioning groups wiill also have to support health education, and Monitor, the health regulator, will be able to force healthcare providers to promote integration of NHS services.
It comes after Ed Miliband criticised the plans during PMQs on Wednesday claiming 98% of GPs, the royal college of nursing and midwives and the patients association were all against the Bill.
"He knows this Bill is a disaster," the Labour leader told David Cameron. "He has a choice – he can carry on or listen to the public. Will he do the right thing and drop the Bill?"
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said the changes were the result of "listening" to ideas in parliament.
Following the royal college of psychiatrists announcing they opposed the NHS Reforms on Wednesday, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said opposition to the health and social care bill was turning into a "crisis".
"If the government carries on digging in behind its Bill, it risks causing serious damage to the NHS and the relationships that underpin it.
“David Cameron promised to listen to the professionals and protect the NHS, but he is now in serious danger of breaching professional and public trust. People would respect him more if he put the NHS first and put this discredited Bill out of its misery.”
On Tuesday three healthcare journals published a joint editorial attacking the government's "poorly thought-through" NHS reforms.