I am very concerned about the NHS (Procurement, Patient Choice and Competition) Regulations which will come in to force on the 1st of April.
Labour tabled a fatal motion against the original regulations in the House of Lords and asked an Urgent Question in the House of Commons. Following strong opposition, the Government announced that the regulations would be re-drafted.
The regulations have now been revised by the Department for Health but offer little improvement and will have the same impact. Labour is calling for the regulations to be annulled.
I have received many representations from constituents and I have signed EDMs on this important issue.
I voted against the Health and Social Care Bill when it was debated in Parliament. I did not accept assurances made by ministers that the Bill would not lead to privatisation of the NHS. These regulations will drive competition in to the heart of our NHS.
There are concerns that a decision not to put services out to tender could lead to a legal challenge by a commercial provider. This is likely to encourage services to be tendered to avoid such litigation.
I will continue to press the Government and fight against plans for privatisation. It is clear that the Tory/Lib Dem Government cannot be trusted with our NHS.