Liberal Democrat conference

I’VE just returned from the Liberal Democrat conference in Sheffield, where I and over 130 other conference representatives signed an amendment to reject the covert privatisation of the NHS being pushed through by Conservative Secretary of State Andrew Lansley and his supporters.

The amendment was overwhelmingly endorsed by the conference.

Opposition to the changes being proposed by Andrew Lansley is vital. If left as they are, they will inevitably lead to cherry-picking of easy cases by the private sector and the decline of services in local hospitals around the country.

There’s little or no evidence to back Mr Lansley’s NHS plans and a whole lot of unanswered questions. How will the enormous cost of reorganisation be borne without cutting front-line services? How can the new organisations running the NHS be held accountable when they can meet behind closed doors? How will they stop the cherry-picking which could put the future of our local hospitals at risk? Is the Government prepared to put measures in place that will block NHS privatisation by stealth?

While we hear bland promises, policies are being put in place which could wreck the NHS as we know it. It’s vital that these plans are changed. Even the Daily Mail, no friend of the Liberal Democrats, is urging Mr Lansley to think again.

Mr Lansley and his Conservative colleagues should listen before it is too late.


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