Labour amendment to Queens Speech To End Public Sector Pay Cap – Health, Social Care and Security – 28 June 2017

  • I beg to move an amendment, at the end of the Question to add:

    “but respectfully regret that the Gracious Speech fails to end cuts to the police and the fire service; commend the response of the emergency services to the recent terrorist attacks and to the Grenfell Tower fire; call on the Government to recruit more police officers and fire-fighters; and further call on the Government to end the public sector pay cap and give the emergency and public services a fair pay rise.”.

You can read the full transcript of the Debate here:

Tories & DUP voted against removing the cap and Labour,SNP, LibDems,Greens voted for removing the cap.

The following MPs cheered and voted against removing the pay cap:



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National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill – second reading

Clive Efford, Labour MP for Eltham, today (Friday 21st November 2014) tabled a Private Member’s Bill called the National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill 2014-15, to amend some of the most controversial bits of the Health and Social Care Act 2012.  The bill passed with 241 voting for and 18 against.

You can read the full debate here and also check how your MP voted:




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Jeremy Hunt Retreats After Threat of Legal Action

After receiving a letter from the lawyers, Jeremy Hunt has written to Andy Burnham denying that his tweet accused Andy Burnham of personally covering up failings of hospitals while he was Secretary of Health.  You can read both his original tweet and his recently tweeted letter below.  We would all be a lot happier if Jeremy Hunt as Secretary of Health would spend his time sorting out the problems in the NHS instead of spending time trying to shift the blame.

Below is  Jeremy Hunt’s original tweet:
Jeremy Hunt @Jeremy_Hunt
Shocking revelations on @andyburnhammp’s attempts to cover-up failing hospitals. We’re legislating to make sure this can never happen again.  2:57pm · 4 Oct 13 · web.


And he tweeted his letter after receiving the lawyer’s letter.

According to the BBC A spokesman for Andy Burnham said: “The secretary of state is clearly backtracking. His reply is an apology of sorts, but he seeks to re-write the tweet rather than delete it. We are considering his response in consultation with our lawyers.” ( )

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Andy Burnham Considers Legal Action Against Jeremy Hunt

You may have seen the following tweet from Jeremy Hunt (Secretary of State for Health) and also other tweets in similar vein by some Conservative MPs:

Jeremy_Hunt's avatar
Jeremy Hunt @Jeremy_Hunt
Shocking revelations on @andyburnhammp’s attempts to cover-up failing hospitals. We’re legislating to make sure this can never happen again.  2:57pm · 4 Oct 13 · web.

English: Andrew Burnham, British politician an...

Andrew Burnham, Shadow Secretary of State for Health, (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Andy Burnham (Shadow Secretary of State for Health) feels that this is an unacceptable smear against his name and is considering taking legal action.  Below is what he had to say but you can read the contents of the emails released by CQC by going to this site:

‘People may have read today that I am considering legal action against the Secretary of State for Health. This, I accept, would be an extraordinary step to take. But it is necessary because of the exceptional circumstances in which I find myself.

So I wanted to set out what’s at issue clearly and precisely.

On Friday afternoon, the Secretary of State for Health sent out the following tweet:

“Shocking revelations on @andyburnhammp’s attempts to cover-up failing hospitals.”

This is an extremely serious allegation to be made by anybody. But it is all the more serious when it comes from a serving Secretary of State against a predecessor. It needs to be considered in the context of a series of events that started with my arrival in the Department of Health in June 2009 in the aftermath of the initial revelations of failures at Stafford Hospital.

Establishing a proper investigation into what went wrong was one of my first priorities.

The official advice I received from the Department was not to hold any further inquiry. I rejected that advice and, in July 2009, appointed Robert Francis QC to head an independent inquiry.

Robert Francis’s first report was published in February 2010 and told in horrifying detail what had gone wrong. He recommended a second-stage Inquiry into the policies and practices of the regulatory bodies, including the Department of Health. I accepted his recommendation and asked him to begin this work immediately.

It was this second-stage Inquiry that was subsequently upgraded into a full Public Inquiry by the incoming Coalition Government. The three-year Francis Inquiry, to which I gave evidence, looked in detail at the Department of Health, the CQC and Monitor. It concluded:

“There is no evidence that any Minister received or ignored advice that would have led to safer outcomes. No criticism of the conduct of any Minister is intended in this report’s findings.”

On the day it was published, the Prime Minister said in the House:

“Let us also be clear about what the report does not say. Francis does not blame any specific policy, he does not blame the last Secretary of State for Health and he says that we should not seek scapegoats.”

David Cameron rightly continued the same cross-Party approach that Labour had adopted on Stafford, with both sides of the House apologising to the families of loved-ones who had suffered. But then something changed. After the Francis Report was published, the Conservative Party decided to change tack and politicise the whole issue of hospital failure.

What has followed can only be described as an orchestrated smear campaign against the last Government and the integrity of Ministers who served in it.

First, it was claimed I had ignored a letter from Professor Brian Jarman providing a list of hospitals with high deaths rates. Not true. On receiving his letter, I immediately referred it to the independent regulator. Then came the CQC’s internal report on its handling of failures at Morecambe Bay. Even though the alleged deletion of the report happened in 2012, on the Coalition’s watch, it was claimed Labour had ignored the problems at the hospital. Again, not true. Next came the publication of the Report by Professor Sir Bruce Keogh into hospitals with high indicators in 2011 and 2012.

In advance of the report, Conservative sources briefed newspapers that 13,000 people had died unnecessarily at the hospitals since 2005.

In an extraordinary diversion from established Parliamentary practice on matters of such seriousness, Jeremy Hunt carried this overtly political tone into his opening statement in the House of Commons.

When the full Keogh Report was published, it did not back up the pre-spinning from Tory HQ or the partisan tone of the Secretary of State. Indeed it said:

“It is important to understand that mortality in all NHS hospitals has been falling over the last decade: overall mortality has fallen by about 30% and the improvement is even greater when the increasing complexity of patients being treated is taken into account.”

On the 13,000 figure, Keogh specifically said that it would be “clinically meaningless and academically reckless” for people to make any calculations of this kind.

It was hard not to conclude that the Conservative Party had deliberately briefed unfounded accusations about the past failings at troubled hospitals for their own political purposes.

So, against this background, we come finally to claims made this week about Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

In response to a Freedom of Information request from a Conservative MP, the Care Quality Commission released internal emails on the handling of problems at the hospital. Newspaper reports claimed the emails showed I had tried to block publication of information on failures at the hospital. Here are the emails as redacted and disclosed by the CQC (click on images to see full size):






The pertinent parts are paragraphs 10 and 11. They relate to a media briefing from the CQC press office given without the authorisation of the CQC leadership. The release of information about any hospital failure is a serious matter. It needs to be handled in a considered manner and according to an agreed process.

This did not happen in the case of Basildon.

The email from CQC specifically states that it had “broken CQC/DH rules”. The next sentence correctly summarises how I felt about that breach of normal process. It goes on to say that the Department, on my instruction, ordered CQC and Monitor to issue a joint press release later that day in the proper manner. There was never any question of information being withheld.

Following this, at my own instigation, I made a full statement to the House of Commons on Basildon at the first opportunity. I promised to update the House on the hospital at regular intervals, which I subsequently did.

It is simply not possible to consider the CQC email, and my actions in the days that followed, as proof of “attempts to cover-up”. That is why I believe Jeremy Hunt’s tweet crosses a line. It is an unfounded attack on my integrity and I am not prepared to let it go.

Jeremy Hunt has received a legal letter from me asking him to provide direct evidence to back up his specific claim that I attempted to cover up failings at Basildon. It is on that sole question on which this whole debate now turns. It is no good Tories trying to distract attention by raising other allegations. He must answer the question I have asked.

I am conscious that rows like this turn people off politics and distract from the serious issues the NHS is facing. That is why I do not wish to prolong it for a moment longer than necessary. If Jeremy Hunt deletes the offending tweet and apologises, I will consider the matter closed.

But, if he fails to do that, I hope people will understand how I can’t leave such a serious, untrue claim unchallenged.’

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The Keogh Report – Review into the quality of care and treatment provided by 14 hospital trusts in England : overview report

#Olympics #Culture Secretary finally manages t...

(Photo credit: norbet1)

It is appalling that the Coalition Government and in particular the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, has decided to play party politics with a report that was looking into the quality of care and treatment of some hospital trusts with high mortality rates.   The media were briefed with inaccurate details before the publication of the report and Jeremy Hunt has used selective parts of the report which suited his political purpose rather than give a fair assessment of the overall view of the report.


You can read the report in full (  but here are some of the positive aspects from the report that Jeremy Hunt had chosen to overlook:


Our NHS is the only healthcare system in the world with a definition of quality enshrined in legislation.


We found pockets of excellent practice in all 14 of the trusts reviewed.


So, I was never interested in simply confirming whether or not there were problems at these trusts. They knew they had problems, which they have tried but struggled to address. 


Between 2000 and 2008, the NHS was rightly focused on rebuilding capacity and improving access after decades of neglect. The key issue was not whether people were dying in our hospitals avoidably, but that they were dying whilst waiting for treatment.  Having rebuilt capacity and improved access, it was then possible to introduce a much more systematic focus on quality. But more clearly needs to be done to equip boards with the necessary skills to grip the quality agenda;


In 2008, Lord Darzi set out a comprehensive strategy for improving quality. NHS England is continuing to pursue this strategy with vigour.


It is important to understand that mortality in all NHS hospitals has been falling over the last decade: overall mortality has fallen by about 30% and the improvement is even greater when the increasing complexity of patients being treated is taken into account. Interestingly, the rate of improvement in the 14 hospitals under review has been similar to other NHS hospitals.



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The Fight for the NHS begins in Earnest

On the 28th February 2013, the people of Eastleigh are being given the opportunity, before the rest of the country, to show their displeasure at what this Coalition government is doing to our NHS by voting.  The NHA Party will be contesting their first seat at this by-election which is being held to replace the former LibDem Cabinet Minister, Chris Huhne.

Dr. Iain Maclellan, a local doctor, will be standing on behalf of the NHA Party.  The NHS supporters in the rest of the country will be waiting and hoping in anticipation that the people in Eastleigh will do the right thing by the NHS.

Here is the press release from the NHA Party which gives more information on Dr. Maclellan and his views:

The National Health Action Party endorses local doctor as their candidate for Eastleigh by election

The National Health Action Party has endorsed a local doctor, public health expert and former navy medical officer Dr Iain Maclennan as their candidate to contest the Eastleigh by-election.
Dr Maclennan, aged 54, lives in Bursledon, in the borough of Eastleigh. He has just retired from the NHS after serving as GP for some years and more recently as a consultant in public health with the local Hampshire Primary Care Trust. He also served 10 years in the Royal Navy.
The campaign takes place in the shadow of the horrific revelations from Mid Staffordshire Hospitals, which shows beyond any doubt the consequences of an NHS in which management attention is increasingly focused on financial balance sheets rather than patient care – a situation that will worsen when the coalition government’s Health & Social Care Act takes effect from April.
Iain Maclennan will be standing up for everyone who wants our NHS restored and improved, not broken up into fragments and flogged off for private profit – and for all those who are fed up with the sleaze of the mainstream parties.
Iain has made clear his determination to break from these machine politics and be genuinely independent. He said:
“If I am elected, I will be a champion for the constant improvement of the NHS.
“I will work to publicise all the perks and allowances that MPs get and promote better value alternatives.
“And I give a commitment to debate major issues in the local media, public meetings and social media before voting rather than blindly following a mainstream party whip.”
Since becoming active in politics in 2005 Iain has stood as a Green Party candidate in council elections and had been selected as the party’s parliamentary candidate for Eastleigh – until it decided not to contest the by-election.
Personally committed to defending the NHS, Iain accepted the National Health Action party’s invitation to stand as their candidate to challenge in an election in which the two front-running parties are jointly complicit in the controversial Health & Social Care Act, and the cutbacks and privatisation taking place in the English NHS.
Joint Party leader Dr Richard Taylor has warmly endorsed the new candidate. He said:
“I am delighted Iain has agreed to stand as the NHA candidate for the Eastleigh by-election. His wide experience of the NHS and health care issues will make him an ideal MP to fight for the preservation of the original ideals of the NHS and for the rights of the disadvantaged.
“The voters of Eastleigh now have a genuine choice – between the sleazy politics of the mainstream parties once again jockeying for position, parties which between them have set the NHS on a course for fragmentation, divisive competition, privatisation and continuing cutbacks: or a new party which rejects this approach and offers a commitment to restore, defend and improve the NHS and public services.”
IAIN MACLENNAN: 023 8040 7274; mob 07958 418078, email:
Dr Richard Taylor mobile: 07793 084693; email:
Ann McGauran (press liaison) : 07710 099635; email:
NOTE TO EDITORS: The National Health Action Party was launched last November. Further details are available from the website

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‘Whole-Person Care’ A One Nation approach to health and care for the 21st Century – Speech by Andy Burnham MP

English: NHS logo

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Shadow Health Secretary, Andy Burnham MP today 24th January 2013, gave a speech to the King’s Fund outlining Labour’s vision for an integrated health and social care system that would take a holistic approach and deal with ‘whole-person care’.  This would be good for patients and their families as it would provide a single point of contact to deal with the varying needs of the patient and would also be an efficient use of resources.  Currently the physical, mental and social care of the patient are provided through three different systems.

You can take part in the debate and comment on Andy’s speech and the wider issues surrounding our national health system on this website:  21st Century NHS and Social Care: Delivering Integration

To read Andy Burnham’s speech, ‘Whole Person Care: a new approach for the 21st century’ click here

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