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Labour to back CCGs if Bill is dropped

Labour to back CCGs if Bill is dropped

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Labour will work with the government to reform NHS commissioning but only if the Health Bill is scrapped.

The new Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham has written to the Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley, warning the NHS is now in the "danger zone" as he has "failed to build a consensus around his plans".

Burnham said it is time to "stop digging" and "change course" if patient care is to be protected.

Labour will work with the government to reform NHS commissioning but only if the Health Bill is scrapped.

The new Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham has written to the Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley, warning the NHS is now in the "danger zone" as he has "failed to build a consensus around his plans".

Burnham said it is time to "stop digging" and "change course" if patient care is to be protected.

He has pledged his commitment to work alongside the government to develop "true clinician-led commissioning in every locality in England" in return for the withdrawal of the Bill.

Labour believes that such reforms do not need legislation, and could be implemented quickly.

"This approach offers a way ahead that everybody could unite behind," said Burnham.

"It would bring much-needed stability and would help the NHS save money on the costs of re-organisation. People would be encouraged to see the main parties setting aside differences and working together for the good of the NHS.

"The Health Secretary has left the NHS demoralised and destabilised. If he tries to plough on regardless, he risks causing serious damage to patient care.

"This is a genuine offer and I hope he will accept it. But make no mistake - we will fight the government every step of the way if it tries to force these dangerous reforms on the NHS. They will unpick the fabric of the NHS and it will never be the same again."

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