LABOUR’s shadow health team warned staff at a West Yorkshire hospital they face “the end of the NHS as we have known it” if the Government pushes its controversial Health and Social Care bill through Parliament.
Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham and his team of backbench MPs spent the day at St James’s Hospital in Leeds to hear healthworkers’ concerns about how the NHS is run.
Earlier this week Mr Burnham launched Labour’s Drop the Bill campaign, urging the Government to halt plans for the biggest shake-up of NHS services in he organisation’s history.
The bill opens the service to private companies and places billions of pounds of spending in the hands of family doctors.
The Leigh MP told staff: “This bill is the end of the NHS as we have known it for the past 63 years.
“It is moving us to a completely different world, and one I don’t believe anybody really wants.
“I want the Labour Party to move up a gear now and fight this proposal – this is not the NHS that we created.”
Mr Burnham also gave his backing to continuing efforts to save children’s heart surgery in Leeds, following a High Court decision earlier this week against a similar planned closure at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London.
“This process has been badly mishandled from start to finish,” he said. “It is now in disarray.
“They need to go back to the drawing board with this. In situations like this, if you cannot carry public support then you should not go forward.”