Burnham slams 'privatisation' mandate
The Government's new guide for the NHS Commissioning board is a "mandate for privatisation", Andy Burnham has claimed, as he warned the health service is “drifting dangerously towards trouble”.
In a statement to the House of Commons
, Andrew Lansley outlined the new NHS ‘mandate’, which will “drive further improvements in the NHS” and set out the objectives for the new Board.
The new mandate will “redefine the relationship” between the Government and the NHS, the Health Secretary said, with ministers “stepping back from day to day interference in the service".
Through the mandate ministers will set the commissioning board’s budgets and set out what they expect it to achieve, based on measures set out in the “NHS outcomes framework,” he added.
However the Shadow Health Secretary attacked the plans, and criticised the Prime Minister’s pre-election promise of “no more top-down reorganisations” of the health service.
“What we are witnessing here is the outsourcing of democratic responsibility and accountability to this House, for the organisation which matters more to our constituents than any other - and he’s handing that to an unelected and unaccountable board,” Mr Burnham said.
“We know the real mandate he has given his board - a mandate for privatisation. He promised it wouldn’t happen, but it is happening.”