In response to my article in The Telegraph The Day They Signed The Death Warrant For The NHS, Andrew Lansley posted the following reply to Telegraph Letters:
SIR – Max Pemberton (Finger on the Pulse, July 25) writes that next year’s NHS reforms signal “the first wave of privatising the NHS”. However, the policy of Any Qualified Provider (AQP) is not about “privatisation” of the NHS, but giving patients real choice over how and where they are treated, guided by the principle “no decision about me, without me”.
We will never privatise the NHS. We have introduced safeguards to make sure this cannot happen, including new measures to ensure private providers cannot cherry-pick profitable NHS services. Far from “burying” this announcement, we are happy to shout about the benefits AQP will bring for patients.
Not only will AQP deliver a shift of power from politicians to patients, but it will create even greater opportunities in the NHS for the voluntary and charity sectors. These sectors are already delivering benefits for patients as we see, for example, through the great work of Whizz-Kidz in providing children with wheelchairs.
Andrew Lansley MP (Con)
Secretary of State for Health
What do you think?