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Tory blog calls for ‘mangled’ Health Bill to be dropped

10 February 2012

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The government’s proposed Health Bill “must be stopped before it is too late”, says a Tory blog.

Tim Montgomerie, Editor of ConservativeHome, said three Tory MPs have contacted the grassroots website “ringing alarm bells” about the controversial health reforms.

Of the three, one MP was “insistent” the bill must be dropped, another said Health Secretary Andrew Lansley must be replaced and the third likened the reforms to the poll tax.

Montgomerie warns that “every inevitable problem that arises in the NHS” in the future will be “unfairly blamed” on the “mangled, bureaucratic and unnecessary bill”.

While he says Lansley should not shoulder the full blame for the “potentially fatal nature of the bill”, Montgomerie claims he will have to move on.

“Lansley will have to move on because he hasn’t been able to communicate these reforms in a streetwise way and he has been unnecessarily confrontational with NHS staff. It would be very wrong, however, for him to take the full blame,” he said.

Unfortunately, however, the NHS has become a big negative for our party again and it’s easier to move forward with a new frontman or a new frontwoman.”

Montogomerie has urged the government to forge a “humiliating” cross-party deal with Lib Dem rebels such as Baroness Williams and Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham or face a “mountainous uphill struggle” at the next election.

“This path will mean passing a bill which contains the genuinely new and exciting provisions on public health but much else would have to be deleted and discarded,” he said.

In response to the blog post, Conservative peer Baroness Warsi defended the bill, saying all party members have a “duty to support the it”.

“The simple truth is that the Bill hands power to the frontline, and all of the arguments against it simply play to the vested interests of those who have something to lose. In fact, the arguments against it are incoherent when put together in any case,” she said.

The Social Liberal Forum has also called for the abandonment of the Health Bill today (10 February), believing it to be “seriously flawed” and should only be enacted if “substantially amended”.

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

“I have worked in the NHS for a number of years and in my opinion it needs a good shaking up. Every one seems to be objecting for objection sake. The NHS has to be brought into the twenthieth century. All self interests must be put aside we cannot maintain the status quo.The service must be looked at for what it is delivering which is currently not good enough and neither is it meeting the needs of some patients in the community. It is still a post code lottery in delivery of satisfactory and/or good practice care – care which is efficacious and gives benefit and value for taxpayers’ money. Reorganisation is well overdue. Please put an end to the objections and move forward without further delay” – V Henry, London