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Monday, 14 March 2011 (3013017)
Pugh raises concerns over NHS shake-up
by Natasha Young

A MOTION expressing concerns about the government's planned shake up of the NHS was passed at the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference, after Southport's MP spoke out against it.

John Pugh has been working with Baroness Shirley Williams of Crosby to urge the Government to take a “hard and critical look” at legistlation going from Parliament, which would require GPs to spent most NHS money, amid fears there would be “organisation upheaval and cherry picking of NHS work by private health firms.

The pair spoke out at the conference in Sheffield at the weekend, in favour of a grassroots amendment, and Mr Pugh told The Champion: ”Neither Shirley nor myself see ourselves as coalition rebels as the current government proposals were not in the coalition deal. We are sounding a warning bell of trouble ahead which I hope ministers will listen to.

“The NHS is too precious an asset to be used as a political football or as a subject for social experimentation. Government proposals need to withstand the toughest parliamentary scrutiny and take the nation and NHS staff with them. Currently they are far from doing that”

“It is though important now that the public engage with this debate and look below the bonnet to find out what the plans really involve. This is one service we will all engage with at some time.”

According to Mr Pugh, the Government are said to be looking again at the legislation and even Conservative members of the cabinet are said to be concerned that they may be digging themselves into a hole.


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