Burnham blasts ‘catastrophic’ reforms


The top-down reorganisation of the NHS is David Cameron’s “biggest single mistake” during his time in office, Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham (pictured) has said.

Mr Burnham claims the decision to combine the challenge to make £20bn of efficiency savings at a time of the biggest reorganisation in the history of the NHS is a “catastrophic error of judgment” by the Coalition Government.

Bringing a day motion on the coalition’s record on the health service, he accused the Prime Minister of breaking promises to push through the Health Bill and using pre-election statements to “help the Conservatives win votes in marginal seats”.

“People will remember only too well, running up to the general election, the then leader of the opposition’s ostentatious shows of affection for the NHS,” said the MP for Leigh. “His airbrushed face on the posters and three very personal promises: real terms increases in every year in this Parliament; no A&E and maternity closures; no top-down re-organisation of the NHS.

“He protested his love for the NHS, and at photocall after photocall on the wards, routinely wore his heart on his sleeve. He was protesting a little too much and today we expose the hollowness of his promises.”

The Shadow Health Secretary added that if Mr Cameron continues with the Health Bill he will “ultimately pay a heavy price for it”. When speaking about his counterpart Andrew Lansley, Mr Burnham also claimed that the controversial Bill was “unravelling before his eyes” and that the health policy introduced by the Government was currently in a chaotic state.