The Conservatives have accused the government of borrowing their ideas about how to reform the NHS after saying Labour had run out of their own.
Shadow Commons Leader Theresa May claimed the vision outlined by health minister and leading surgeon Lord Darzi of Denham “flattered” the Conservatives.
Plans announced by the government – including those for an NHS Constitution, patient choice and linking hospital budgets to quality of care – had all been Tory ideas, she said, as she demanded “original thinking” from ministers.
But Commons Leader Harriet Harman insisted that when Labour came to power the NHS had to be “rescued” as it was “completely on its knees”. She welcomed the Tories joining the government in its approach to improving care.
Lord Darzi’s report outlined measures to raise standards of care but also to increase choice over how and where patients are treated.
It includes plans to force all hospitals to publish “quality accounts” of the care they provide in the same way they publish financial accounts.
Drug appraisals by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) will be speeded up. The report was accompanied by an NHS Constitution, setting out a patient’s “rights and responsibilities”.
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