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February 17, 2012

How the Lib Dems justify driving the getaway car for the Health and Social Care Bill
Filed under: Private Eye — Dr. Phil @ 3:09 pm

David Cameron has made the Health and Social Care Bill into a confidence vote, just as Blair did, which if history repeats will lead to a brutal suppression of dissent, the silencing of whistleblowers and more buried scandals. The Lib Dems should be deeply concerned about this, but they’ve been briefed to give a positive spin on their contribution to the Bill’s improvements, to mask driving the getaway car.  See below – and please comment!

The first point is obviously bollocks, given that Andrew Lansely has just given an exclusive interview to the Health Service Journal on ‘Why Competition is Crucial for NHS reform.’


Health and Social Care Bill: Top Lines for Lib Dems to Remember when doing Media Interviews:

 No more competition:

Liberal Democrats were clear that the NHS mustn’t be treated in the same way as the gas, electricity or utilities markets. That’s why there’s no longer any mention of promoting competition in this Bill. Instead, the number one priority hardwired above everything else is the interests of patients.


No favours for the private sector:

Labour rigged the market in favour of the private sector by giving them ‘gold plated’ contracts and paying them £250million for operations they didn’t even perform. We’ve made sure there won’t be any more special favours for the private sector by making it illegal for any future government to deliberately favour the private sector.


Secretary of State still accountable:

Liberal Democrat peers have secured changes to the Bill that ensures the buck still stops with the Secretary of State.  These changes mean the Secretary of State will remain politically and legally accountable for a comprehensive national health service. 


No decisions behind closed doors:

GPs and other doctors shouldn’t be allowed to spend public money without being required to tell us how they’re going to use it.  Changes pushed for by Liberal Democrats mean that commissioning groups will now be open, accountable bodies required to meet in public and subject to FOI laws.



Evolution not revolution: The pace of change has been slowed down to ensure changes are not rushed into. There are no more arbitrary deadlines so people only take on extra responsibilities when they are ready and able to.


Substantial change and scrutiny:

This Bill has undergone substantial change and unprecedented level of scrutiny. The Government have put down over 1,000 amendments, dedicated over 200hours to parliamentary scrutiny, and –for the first time in 9 years recommitted the Bill to committee stage.  No one can argue that this Bill hasn’t undergone substantial changes.