Last night and again today Parliament has been debating the government’s Care Bill and I have received a very large number of campaign emails on the subject. Most of the attention is focused on Clause 119 and Paul Burstow’s amendment to replace it.
The form emails I have received all say ‘the NHS is very important to me’, which is entirely understandable and a sentiment I completely agree with. But I cannot see why, if we agree that the NHS is a vital natural resource, so many people believe that it would be managed best by binding the hands of doctors and administrators.
We have a national health service made up of interdependent hospitals and it just doesn’t make sense that officials are currently only able to look at single failing providers in isolation. In the long term this will reduce the standard of care available to patients and not increase it, as we all want.
Having worked in the NHS, used the NHS and spoken to hundreds of constituents over the years about their feelings and experiences, I would never vote for a measure that had anything like the consequences the campaign emails suggest.
I know opposition parties must oppose and campaign groups must campaign but there is a thin line between that and scaremongering among vulnerable people on the basis of what you know to be untruths.