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Labour promises to abolish competition in NHS and promote “true integration”

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h1507 (Published 17 March 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1507
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1Birmingham

Labour’s first NHS priority if elected will be to abolish competition and the internal health market, the shadow health secretary, Andy Burnham, has said.

He also said that Labour’s plan to raise an extra £2.5bn (€3.5bn; $3.7bn) in health funding would radically reform payment systems to underpin better integration of physical healthcare, mental healthcare, and social care. The party would also bring in a new workforce plan later this year to increase training places for doctors and other clinical staff.

Burnham gave an interview to The BMJ at the Labour Party’s spring rally in Birmingham on Saturday 14 March. “I have made a very clear judgment,” he said. “The market is not the answer to 21st century health and care. My plan is about true integration, allowing professionals to merge, to collaborate, to partner without the artificial requirements of the competition regime in the way.”

Repeal the Health and Social Care Act

Burnham said that the NHS was “teetering on the brink right now” and was at risk of losing financial control and that the market had delivered “dangerous” fragmentation. He said that Labour was already working …

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