Lib Dems confident of changes to NHS Bill – Hunter

June 13, 2011 10:39 AM

Cheadle MP Mark Hunter has announced he is confident that significant changes will be made to the Government's Health Bill to address concerns raised by the public, medical professionals and the party.

Liberal D

Mark with Lib Dem Leader Nick Clegg at Stepping Hill Hospital on their recent visit

Mark with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg at Stepping Hill Hospital on their recent visit

emocrats led the calls for changes after raising serious concerns at the party's Spring Conference in March. Mr Hunter supported the amendment, agreed at conference, which made clear serious reservations.

The Government has now completed a listening exercise during a break in the passage of the Bill to hear the concerns and work to improve the proposed legislation.

In particular, Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats have battled to ensure:

• The pace of change is slowed down to ensure changes are not rushed into. The changes must be evolutionary, not revolutionary

• There is to be no privatisation of the NHS and no special favours for the private sector. We want a level playing field, not a race to the bottom

• The NHS is properly accountable, both nationally and locally

Commenting, Mark said:

"We have been clear from the start that there must be no privatisation of the NHS and that it must remain universal, based on need and free at the point of use.

"With an ageing population and rising costs it is clear the NHS can't stand still, but these changes are too important to get wrong. As Nick Clegg has said, no Bill at all is better than a bad Bill and we are determined to get this right.

"I am proud that Nick Clegg and my Lib Dem colleagues have been fighting to make sure the concerns raised by the public and medical professionals have been heard and addressed. Undoubtedly our influence will result in a better thought out strategy to improve our NHS."

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