Responding to the Second Reading of the Health and Care bill, which will reorganise the NHS and hand more powers to the Health Secretary, Liberal Democrat Health spokesperson Munira Wilson MP said: “The Government are kidding themselves if they think reorganising the NHS is a simple and straightforward task. With well over five million people now waiting for medical treatment, including 16,000 people suffering with cancer, and the pandemic being far from over, now is not the time to embark on a major and disruptive restructuring of the NHS.
“This is not only the wrong time for this Bill but it makes barely any mention of reform to social care. Every year thousands of vulnerable people lie stranded in hospitals long after they could have been discharged because there is nowhere for them to go. Integration of the NHS is almost meaningless without first tackling the issues with our social care system and improving conditions for care workers and unpaid carers.
“We struggle to see why the Government needs more powers to tackle these urgent problems. The Government should not be meddling in the day to day running of the NHS, its independence should be protected.
“A well-organised and well-run NHS is key to keeping people living longer and healthier lives but the Liberal Democrats do not believe that this Bill will achieve that. We will vote against it at Second Reading.”