A comprehensive health service, free at the point of use must continue and the encroaching of the private sector into more and more areas of the NHS is unwelcome. NHS England expenditure on independent providers has increased by £3.4 billion since 2011/12. At the General Election I stood on a manifesto that committed to reverse the privatisation of our NHS, return our health service into expert public control, and repeal the Health and Social Care Act which puts profits before patients.
We need more investment to provide the NHS and social care with the funding it so desperately needs. I support the introduction of a new legal duty on the Health Secretary to ensure that excess private profits are not made out of the NHS, and I agree that there should be no new private finance initiative deals. The government’s proposal to sell 75 per cent of NHS Professionals, an effective and successful public body which saves the taxpayer around £70 million a year and ensures that hospitals don’t have to rely on expensive private staffing agencies, was halted over the summer.
I am committed to protecting and strengthening our NHS and that means stopping the drive towards privatisation and ensuring the NHS is based on collaboration and integration, not on competition and fragmentation.