Speeches sourced from the Labour party’s online archive More…

Andy Burnham MP, Labour's Shadow Health Secretary, responding to today's letter from the Chairman of the BMA’s GPs Committee Dr Laurence Buckman and news that a second Clinical Commissioning Group has called on the Government to drop the Health and Social Care Bill, said:

"Dr Buckman has presented a devastating critique of David Cameron's mismanagement of the NHS.

"He is right to say we didn't need a 300-page Bill to deliver more clinical involvement in commissioning. It is a colossal waste of the NHS's time, energy and money when it should have been focusing on the financial challenge.

"Dr Buckman's call for the Bill to be abandoned and the CCGs to work through existing structures is right and adds further clinical credibility to the Drop the Bill call. Downing Street will be worried to see a second Clinical Commissioning Group add its voice to this call, undermining Mr Cameron's claims at PMQs.

"All this begs the question: how long can David Cameron carry on ignoring the very people that are crucial in the implementation of his policy. It is sheer recklessness to receive warnings like this and do nothing about them.

"Yet again, I repeat my offer to the Government: Drop the Bill and Labour will work constructively with you to implement the proposal for more clinical involvement in commissioning.

"The choice for David Cameron and Nick Clegg is becoming clearer by the day: Drop the Bill or risk damaging the NHS. People won't forgive them if they choose the latter."

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