The National Health Service Bill - March 2016

The National Health Service Bill (formerly National Health Reinstatement Bill) is due to be debated in the House of Commons on Friday 11th March.
 
I believe that the proposed Bill would be an unnecessary upheaval and the wrong approach to improving the NHS. An authoritative comparative study of the performance of different national health systems recently concluded that the NHS from 2010 to 2015 was the best health service in the world. 
 
I think this is a ringing endorsement of the Government's decision to reform the NHS and to invest over £7 billion extra funding in real terms in the health service during the last Parliament. There are now 1.3 million more operations being delivered each year compared to 2010, over 10,500 more doctors and 5,800 more nurses. I am also pleased that the Prime Minister has promised to continue this investment in the current Parliament with over £10 billion additional NHS spending in real terms. This will mean spending on the NHS will rise every year in real-terms. 
 
I believe that giving operational control for the day-to-day running of services to doctors was the right decision - but the Government has always been clear that Ministers are responsible for the NHS and I am proud of its performance in challenging circumstances. The Government's health reforms have focused on the role of the clinician, believing that they are best placed to commission local health services as they have the best understanding of local needs.