I believe that the National Health Service Bill to be an unnecessary upheaval and the wrong approach to improving the NHS. The Government’s reforms are working: an authoritative comparative study of the performance of different national health systems recently concluded that the NHS, from 2010 to 2015 was the best health service in the world.
The findings are a ringing endorsement of the Government's decision to reform the NHS and to invest over £7 billion extra funding in real terms in the health service during the last Parliament. There are now 1.3 million more operations being delivered each year compared to 2010, over 10,500 more doctors and 5,800 more nurses. The Prime Minister has promised to continue this investment in the new Parliament with over £10 billion additional NHS spending, in real terms. The NHS budget will rise year on year.
The new junior doctor contract is a continuation of the Government’s commitment to providing a safer and fairer, seven day a week NHS. Whether you are admitted to hospital on a weekday or a weekend, you will receive the same excellent care. With the new contract, doctors will receive a 13.5% pay rise and see new safeguards introduced to reduce working hours.
In my view, giving operational control for the day-to-day running of services to doctors was the right decision - but the Government has always been clear that Ministers are responsible for the NHS and I am proud of its performance in challenging circumstances. The Government's health reforms have focused on the role of the clinician. I believe that they are best placed to commission local health services as they have the best understanding of local needs.
Thank you if you took the time to contact me on this important issue and please do not hesitate to do so again in the future.