Thank you for contacting me about the Health and Care Bill.
The Health and Care Bill contains widely supported (and much needed) reforms to our NHS. These reforms aim to tackle bureaucracy and encourage health services, such as our hospitals, GP surgeries and social care providers, to work more closely together – it is an evolution and not the ‘revolution’ that some might have you think.
This Bill will put into legislation some of the improvements already underway in the NHS and, importantly, builds on the recommendations of the NHS’s own Long Term Plan, laying the foundations for our recovery from this dreadful pandemic. There will remain, quite rightly in my view, a role for private companies, social enterprises and charities to deliver some healthcare free at the point of need for NHS patients, and under strict contract with the NHS, but this role is not notably enhanced or increased by this Bill, as I understand it. Indeed, I think I'm right in saying that a majority of expert observers expect this Bill to slightly reduce the current access that companies and social enterprises have to tendering to provide NHS services.
For more information on this, please see the attached letter from the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.
The NHS is incredibly important to me, as it is to you, and you can be sure that at all times during its passage through Parliament I will be scrutinising this Bill very carefully indeed to ensure that its core values and principles remain fully protected.
With regard to a separate part of the Health and Care Bill, I should make you aware that I do have severe reservations about important aspects of the proposed restrictions re. the advertising of foods that are judged to high in fat, sugar or salt. I have already made a speech about my reservations in the Commons and I will continue to make my views clear on this to Government.
Thank you once again for writing.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking