You can't restructure NHS and make cuts: Tory-led committee blasts Lansley's reforms for not meeting needs of ageing Britons
You can't restructure NHS and make cuts at the same time, committee expected to say
Under fire again NHS reforms introduced by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley (pictured on Tuesday) are expected to be criticised by an influential cross-party group of MPs
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley's controversial NHS reforms are set to be heavily criticised by an influential cross-party group of MPs, it was reported today.
The Commons Health Committee are expected to say this week that the proposals were obstructing efforts to make the NHS more efficient and failed to address the needs of an ageing population.
The committee, chaired by Conservative former health secretary Stephen Dorrell have concluded the plan to restructure the NHS in England and devolve more power to GPs has made it more difficult to achieve the target of 20 billion in efficiency savings by 2014-15.
According to The Observer, a “late draft” of the committee's report as says: 'The reorganisation process continues to complicate the push for efficiency gains.
'Although it may have facilitated savings in some cases we heard that it more often creates disruption and distraction that hinders the ability of organisations to consider truly effective ways of reforming service delivery and releasing savings.'
Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said it was now clear Mr Lansley's reform plan had been a “monumental mistake” and called for a government rethink.
'This report is a damning indictment of the Government's mishandling of the NHS,' he said.
'It is time for David Cameron to listen to what doctors, nurses and now his own senior MPs are saying and call a halt to this reckless reorganisation.'
Health Minister Simon Burns, however, insisted the Government was determined to put the NHS on a sustainable footing.
'We all know the NHS is facing pressures from an ageing population and the increasing costs of medicines. That's why we are spending an extra 12.5 billion on the NHS. We have also made 7 billion in efficiency savings as performance has improved,' he said.
'These will all help in the short term, but if we are to put the NHS on a sustainable footing for the future reform is essential. Our modernisation plan will put doctors in charge, slash bureaucracy and give much more power to patients.'
Legitimate question: Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg told Andrew Marr today that NHS reforms had been scaled back but that change was needed
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said it was a “legitimate question” for committee to look at how the changes affected the ability of the NHS to meet spending cut targets set by the last Labour government.
However, he warned reform in the NHS was necessary and the Government could not 'stick our head in the sand and say 'no change'.
'We have gone a long way to allay the concerns that people had about the original blueprint of the reforms,' he told BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show.
'We have said there is going to be no privatisation of the NHS by the back door. We have put competition back in its box. We have made sure there is proper accountability in the NHS.
'But people shouldn't think that the best way to cherish and preserve everything that we love about the NHS is somehow to freeze it in time and then it will all be okay.
'Our view is that these reforms, by making people in the front line more responsible for use of NHS money, actually help make the savings, not hinder it.'
NHS Confederation chief executive Mike Farrar said: 'I am deeply concerned about the financial pressures facing the healthcare system in this country and the impact this will have on patients.
'The full implications of this remain poorly understood outside the NHS, partly because politicians are reluctant to stand up and explain them.
'If we are to keep the NHS sustainable in the long term, we need to be honest that this will mean fundamentally reorganising they way we deliver care in the best interest of patients.
'Some local hospital services will need to close or move into larger specialist centres. We also desperately need to strengthen care provided in the community.
'This is so we can provide better care to the people who make up the vast majority patients in today's health service: older people with various long-term conditions.
'I passionately believe that the overall impact can be positive for patients, but only if we can get ahead of the curve and take the public with us.'
'From the outset, we have made clear that the government's reforms to the administrative structures of the NHS are a distraction in terms of addressing these fundamental challenges.
'We are therefore increasingly worried by the lack of clinical support for the reforms and the fact that clinical opposition to the changes has hardened in recent days.'