Stephen Timms, Member of Parliament for East Ham, yesterday criticised the Government’s confusion over their controversial NHS reform plans.

In a statement to the House of Commons on 4 April, the Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, confirmed that he intended to ‘pause’ from pressing ahead with what is considered to be the biggest reorganisation in NHS history. Following an outbreak of criticism from both health experts and the public, the Health and Social Care bill will be put on hold whilst ministers re-evaluate the details, but have yet to declare what the amendments might be. 

Speaking after the statement, Mr Timms said: “These reforms are unravelling.  There is utter confusion in the Conservative-led Government’s health policy. There has been u-turn after u-turn after u-turn, and now – after the Prime Minister claimed he would put an end to top-down reorganisation of the NHS – a series of broken promises. In seventeen years as an MP, no previous Government has had to put a bill on hold like this. You just can’t trust the Tories on the NHS.”

Mr Timms comments followed after the response from the Shadow health secretary John Healey, who said at the dispatch box: “There is confusion at the heart of Government, with briefings and counter-briefings on all sides, and patients starting to see the NHS go backwards again under the Tories-with waiting times rising, front-line nursing staff cut and services cut back. Yet the Health Secretary has done nothing to restore public confidence in the Government's handling of the NHS and nothing to convince people to back the Tories' reorganisation plans. Everything he said today the Government were told about in the consultation-and they ignored it. Everything he said today the Government were told in Committee-and they rejected it.” 

“This is no way to run a Bill; this is no way to run a Government; this is no way to run the NHS.”

AuthorStephen Timms