Put patients first


This week saw the Health and Social Care Bill pass through the final stages in the House of Lords.

This sadly means that it is likely to achieve Royal Assent and become law before Easter.

David Cameron said the NHS was safe under the Tories, but he and his out of touch government are taking it backwards.

They are wasting billions on this damaging reorganisation – opposed by patients, nurses and doctors – that will do nothing for patient care and which he promised wouldn’t happen.

There are already 4,000 fewer nurses since the General Election, with the number set to fall by 6,000 by the end of this Parliament.

More people have waited longer for treatment, longer for tests and longer in A&E.

Instead of wasting billions on a damaging and unnecessary reorganisation, Labour would save this money and protect 6,000 nurses’ jobs.

We would put patients first, protect the frontline and support the right kind of reforms needed to address the long-term challenges of the NHS.

The fight to protect our NHS goes on.

Labour secured a rare emergency debate in the House of Commons on Tuesday, focused on the government’s refusal to publish the “risk register” which sets out what the Department of Health believes to be the major risks associated with this costly and damaging top-down reorganisation of the NHS.

I know that people here in Birmingham care deeply about the NHS, and have a right to know the full implications of this Bill.

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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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You can reach me by email at richard@richardburden.com or use the form on the Contact page to send me a message.