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PM responds to Nursing Times' criticisms of reform

  • 23 Comments

David Cameron has defended his government’s health reforms at prime minister’s question time from the criticisms set out in Nursing Times’ joint leader with Health Service Journal and the BMJ.

Amid stormy scenes in the House of Commons, the leader of the opposition directly quoted the editorial written by the titles’ respective editors, Jenni Middleton, Alastair McLellan and Fiona Godlee.

Labour leader Ed Miliband said: “This week the British Medical Journal, Health Service Journal and Nursing Times published a joint editorial that said, and I quote, the prime minister’s reorganisation has ‘destabilised and damaged one of this country’s greatest achievements – a system that embeds social justice and has delivered widespread public satisfaction public support and value for money.

“’We must make sure that nothing like this ever happens again’.”

Mr Miliband added: “Why does the prime minister think he has so comprehensively lost the medical profession’s trust?”

In response, the prime minister said: “There are tens of thousands of general practitioners up and down the country who are implementing our reforms because they want to see decisions made by doctors, not bureaucrats.

“They want to see health and social care brought together and they want to put the patient in the driving seat.”

Mr Cameron told Mr Miliband: “Look at what is happening in the health service - waiting times are down, infection rates are down and the number of people in mixed sex wards – that we put up with for 13 years under Labour – is down by 94 per cent.”

The prime minister also criticised Labour’s policy of saying his government’s increase in NHS resources was irresponsible.

But Mr Miliband went on to criticise the prime minister for being “out of touch”, listing organisations including the Royal College of Midwives and the British Medical Association, which were against the bill.

“He knows in his heart of hearts this bill is a disaster,” he said of the prime minister. “He has a choice – he can carry on regardless or he can listen to the public and the professions. Will he now do the right thing, and drop this unwanted bill?”

In response, Mr Cameron said: “If you are trying to bring into public service, choice, competition, transparency, proper results and publication of results, you will always find there will be objections.

“The question is whether it’s going to improve patient care and the running of the health service.”

He went on to quote former prime minister Tony Blair, saying: “It is an important lesson in the progress of reform that when change is proposed it is announced as a disaster, it proceeds with vast opposition, it is unpopular. It comes about and within a short space of time it’s as if it’s always been so.

“The lesson is instructive. If you think a change is right, go with it – the opposition is inevitable but it’s rarely unbeatable.”

  • 23 Comments

Readers' comments (23)

  • tinkerbell

    oh give us all a break Mr Cameron. I suppose if we said we are not as stupid as you think you would answer in your arrogance 'you couldn't possibly be'.

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  • tinkerbell



    Below email from 38 degrees

    What do NHS staff think of Lansley's NHS plans? For the first time we have some hard numbers - thanks to a YouGov poll. [1] They're pretty shocking:

    - 78% of NHS staff polled think Lansley's plans will mean more patients will be excluded from NHS care
    - 68% of NHS staff think it’s likely that Lansley's changes will lead to charges for basic services such as ambulance, maternity care, and cancer screening
    - 83% do not think that the plans will reduce NHS bureaucracy
    - Only 13% think Andrew Lansley is doing well as Health Minister

    Together, we can spread the word about these poll results across the NHS. If NHS staff who have kept their concerns private so far see how many of their colleagues agree with them, they'll be much more likely to speak out. That will help our campaign grow at this crucial time.

    Can you forward this email to anyone you know who works for the NHS?

    Then, if you want to do more you could contact your college, association, academy or society and urge them to do more to protect the NHS. All the details you need are here:
    https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/contact-your-association


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  • tinkerbell | 1-Feb-2012 7:16 pm

    I know your MP said he would draw the PM's attention to comments in the NT but I wondered whether it would be worth suggesting to Jenni that she publish some of the most pertinent ones with the related articles and sent them to him?

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  • tinkerbell

    Anonymous | 1-Feb-2012 8:32 pm

    Great idea. If everyone can post their questions/concerns here for Mr Cameron/Lansley and see if we can get some honest dialogue directly. We have a right to ask and in all decency they should answer as it is OUR NHS that we believe is under threat and the future of our society and the fundamental principles of OUR NHS. Hopefully Jenni can pass them on. If not I will print them off and send them to me old mate Gordon.

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  • tinkerbell

    A Department of Health spokesperson said: "Our reforms are based on what NHS staff themselves have consistently said; they want more freedom from day to day bureaucracy and political interference so they can get on with the job of caring for patients. That is exactly what this bill achieves.

    "It's completely untrue to suggest that dropping the bill would save the NHS money. Our plans will reduce needless bureaucracy by a third and save £4.5bn over the course of this parliament and £1.5bn every year afterwards. Every penny saved will be reinvested in frontline care for patients."


    Really, this isn't what i see happening, i see frontline staff being redeployed from closures.

    By all means lets have less bureaucracy, anyone would vote for that, but that's just a line thrown in to make us all agree, but what we don't agree with is that the NHS needs to be destroyed in the process and changed into something that is no longer OUR NHS but a better service for those who can afford it.

    People are finally waking up to the realisation that OUR NHS is not safe in your hands as this government promised, it is far from safe, it is under threat and in deep distress and only we can change that by making our voices heard.

    We might have all been duped at the beginning but slowly the word is getting out there that that OUR NHS is being dismantled and destroyed and its fundamental principles will soon no longer exist., healthcare for all regardless of financial status.

    This government were given the benefit of the doubt by many but they have abused our trust/naivety and slowly people are waking up and saying 'NO'. Whatever may be wrong with the NHS these reforms are not the cure.

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  • tinkerbell | 1-Feb-2012 9:21 pm

    Anonymous | 1-Feb-2012 8:32 pm

    copy of e-mail sent to Jenni 02.02.12


    Dear Jenni

    I just wondered whether you had considered or would consider publishing many of the readers comments (unedited) following recent and relevant articles concerning the health reforms and sending them directtly to Mr. Cameron. One reader has already asked her MP to bring the NT to his attention but I think this might be a useful additional idea to make sure they do reach him.

    Kind regards

    signed

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  • why does the government appear to working against the people rather than for the people.

    the NHS should be above inter-party politics and led by experts who work in the NHS and in healthcare who fully understand the needs of patients and the efficient functioning of the organisation to ensure this.

    In my humble view, which may reflect that of many of my fellow citizens and nursing and other professional colleagues, it should continue to be funded by taxpayers money and free at the point of delivery for essential, basic and urgent care of the highest quality but funding should be increased according to needs of the services and should realistically reflect the rises in costs.

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  • "In response, Mr Cameron said: “If you are trying to bring into public service, choice, competition, transparency, proper results and publication of results, you will always find there will be objections.

    “The question is whether it’s going to improve patient care and the running of the health service.”

    He went on to quote former prime minister Tony Blair, saying: “It is an important lesson in the progress of reform that when change is proposed it is announced as a disaster, it proceeds with vast opposition, it is unpopular. It comes about and within a short space of time it’s as if it’s always been so.

    “The lesson is instructive. If you think a change is right, go with it – the opposition is inevitable but it’s rarely unbeatable.”"

    several points here and the PM's arguments appear weak or flawed for the following reasons:

    the PM is here to serve the people and not the other way round

    he is going against expert advice and opinion and the wishes of many of the people and many who are unaware of the situation until they actually need care may well suddenly discover that some changes have been carried out to their detriment through the back door.

    he is behaving like an arrogant nanny who believes he 'knows what is best' for other people and the adult citizens of the population

    he has quoted Blair in defense of his arguments. if we wanted and trusted Blair we would still have Blair wouldn't we?


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  • "Cameron uses privilege rule to prevent Lords blocking welfare reform”

    “David Cameron deployed a controversial parliamentary tactic last night to deny the House of Lords the right to vote as he set out to force his benefit reforms into law."

    “By Tim Ross, Political Correspondent
    7:30AM GMT 02 Feb 2012”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9055739/Cameron-uses-privilege-rule-to-prevent-Lords-blocking-welfare-reform.html

    Will Cameron use this 'privilige rule' to force the health services bill into law, as well every one of his other whims?

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  • tinkerbell

    Anonymous | 2-Feb-2012 12:15 pm

    surely this is illegal and totally undemocratic?

    To what depths are this government prepared to stoop to railroad all this through and get their own way?

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