Lonely? Not me says Andrew Lansley. You must live in a world created by BBC, he tells Cambs breakfast host

HEALTH Minister and South Cambs MP Andrew Lansley said the privatisation of Hinchingboke Hospital is a one off “and as it happens I don’t have any plans for the example to be followed elsewhere.

“There are many other ways in which NHS Trusts can improve their management and performance and we are pursuing all of those.”

Mr Lansley was talking to BBC Radio Cambridgeshire’s breakfast show host in Peterborough, Paul Stainton, and said the decision to award a contact to run it was something started under the previous Labour Government.

“What I do think however is that it is very clear that we cannot carry on in the NHS as we’ve done too often with hospital organisation that are running at deficits,” he said.

Stainton challenged the minister on health service reforms, alleging both health professionals and the unions were against many of his proposed changes.

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“Do you feel a bit lonely at the moment Andrew?” said Stainton during last Wednesday’s breakfast show. “You’re almost on your own here, aren’t you, with what you want to do with the NHS?”

Mr Lansley hit back citing the number of clinical commissioning groups supporting reforms and who are “delivering leadership and improving services in their areas. “That’s why I don’t feel lonely, as you rather abusingly describe it.”

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Stainton persisted that “your Bill’s dead though, isn’t Andrew? Nobody’s with you on this are they?”

The Minister said the Bill was most definitely still active and told Stainton he must “live in a world created by the BBC.”

A short while later Stainton again said NHS doctors and nurses objected to his proposals and that what he was proposing would be even more costly.

Mr Lansley replied that “I’m sorry; you’re still living in a world populated by misrepresentations from some trade union. It doesn’t cost more. It saves. It’s putting those resources and many more into the hands of front line staff to improve services for patients.”

Of the deal struck with Circle to run Hinchingbrooke he said they were winners in a process that began two and a half years ago.

“They won that bid,” he said. “They wouldn’t have entered in this contract unless they felt confident they were capable of achieving it.”

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