Department of Health and Social Care
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Department of Health Myth Buster

Department of Health Myth Buster

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 06 September 2011


MYTH: The Health Secretary will wash his hands of the NHS

The Bill does not change the Secretary of State's duty to promote a comprehensive health service.

MYTH: Bureaucracy will increase significantly

We are abolishing needless bureaucracy, and our plans will save one third of all administration costs during this Parliament.

MYTH: You are introducing competition in the NHS

Competition will not be pursued as an end in itself. We have said that competition will be used to drive up quality, and not be based on price. Nor will we allow competition to be a barrier to collaboration and integration.

MYTH: You are privatising the NHS

Claims that we aim to privatise the NHS amount to nothing more than ludicrous scaremongering. We have made it crystal clear, time and again, that we will never, ever, privatise the NHS.

MYTH: Private patients will take priority over other patients

The NHS will always be available to all, free at the point of use and based on need and not the ability to pay. Nothing in our proposals will enable private patients to "leapfrog" to the front of NHS waiting lists.

MYTH: NHS hospitals will be managed by foreign companies

Even if independent sector management is used, NHS assets will continue to be wholly owned by the NHS. And there would be rigorous checks to ensure that any such independent provider is reputable and fit for purpose.

MYTH: The Bill hasn't had proper scrutiny

The Bill has so far spent longer being scrutinised than any Public Bill between 1997 and 2010 - 40 Committee sittings, and over 100 hours of debate. Even Opposition MPs acknowledged that every inch of the Bill has been looked at.

MYTH: The NHS doesn't need to change

The NHS does need to change to meet future challenges of an ageing population and rising costs of treatment. The independent NHS Future Forum confirmed the NHS must change to safeguard it for the future.

MYTH: You are introducing EU competition law in the NHS

The Bill does not change current UK or EU competition legislation or procurement legislation or the areas to which they apply.

MYTH: These plans were not in the Coalition Agreement

The Coalition Agreement clearly said doctors, nurses and health professionals will be handed freedom to decide what is right for their patients; that we will establish an independent NHS board; that patients will be in charge over their care; and that we will cut the cost of NHS administration by a third to reinvest into the front line.


Department of Health
Phone: 020 7210 5221

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