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NHS private firms plan condemned

26 January 2011

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The Government’s proposal to give GPs on the NHS banker-style bonuses and allow private firms to profit from the health sector represents “the worst kind of excess”, MPs have been told.

But Health Secretary Andrew Lansley insisted the move would improve the quality of service because doctors will get more say on commissioning treatment.

John Healey, the shadow health secretary, said the Tory-Lib Dem coalition proposal will ‘open up all parts of the NHS to big private healthcare companies’.

New Oldham East and Saddleworth MP Debbie Abrahams’s first Commons question was directed at Mr Lansley. She said the Health and Social Care Bill would allow the new NHS commissioning board to hand out bonus payments to GP consortia deemed to have “performed well”.

She said: “Isn’t this the worst kind of excess? We don’t want to see it in our banking system, we certainly don’t want to see it in our NHS.”

Mr Lansley told her: “For years general practices have been remunerated in part through a quality and outcomes framework, the principle being that if they deliver better outcomes for patients they should have a corresponding benefit from doing so.”

If the Bill becomes law, all 151 of England’s primary care trusts and 10 strategic health authorities will be abolished. GPs will then get control of around 80% of the NHS budget, allowing them to commission services for patients.

Copyright © Press Association 2011

Health and Social Care Bill