The NHS and Social Care Bill is currently being examined by the Health Parlimentary Committee. Information coming out from meetings being held at this stage of the process is fascinating. Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary who dreamed all of this up was yesterday grilled by said committee. The following paragraph is taken from the Guardian online:
“He surprised some MPs when he admitted they were “still thinking through” what would happen should one of the newly empowered GP consortia go bust. Lansley said: “The responsibility lies with the NHS commissioning board. To identify and then intervene – they will have powers to take over responsibility or ask another hospital to take over.B ut he said there was still a debate about what would be the “trigger” for the NHS commissioning board to step in”
In an overture to those concerned about the reforms, and in a nod to the parliamentary push back from Clegg’s team, Lansley said there would be “opportunities to clarify, if not improve, the bill as it goes through parliament.”
and finally this:
“Lansley insisted that the bill was compatible with EU law and that he was supported by legal advice. But when pressed five times by Labour MP Valerie Vaz to publish the exact legal advice, he appeared to refuse.”
As someone living through this debacle and who will certainly lose the job I have even if I do get myself another. As someone who may be a patient involved in this mess in the future, I wonder if these people know what they are doing to the health service? What is more don’t they actually think it matters if the potential problems are worked through before the Bill becomes law? Obviously they don’t or else you wouldn’t have the feeling it had been invented at a cocktail party, written down on the back of an envelope and then presented as a fait au complit!