Managing Risk in the NHS: 17th July 2013

Andy Burnham
This is debate is about the NHS in England, and if the hon. Gentleman has concerns about the NHS in Wales, why does he not have a word with his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer and get a better deal for the Welsh Assembly so that a bit more money could be put back into the Welsh national health service?

As I was saying, the Government have put staff morale at rock bottom, and where are the promised benefits of this reorganisation? Clinical commissioning groups are not, as we were promised, the powerhouse of the new NHS; they are embryonic at best and anonymous at worst. Members of all parties, I am sure, write letters to CCGs that get passed to NHS England, which then either does not provide a proper answer or passes them on again. [Interruption.] I hear the public health Minister saying it is dreadful that Members do not get proper answers. When my hon. Friend the Member for Easington (Grahame M. Morris) wrote to her about cancer services in his constituency, she also brushed it off to NHS England. Is this proper accountability? No.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Anna Soubry)
rose—

Andy Burnham
I hope the Minister is going to deliver some accountability now.

Anna Soubry
Will the right hon. Gentleman please agree and accept that I have not only answered his letters, but met him on at least one occasion? It is right under the new system for such letters to go to NHS England, but that does not stop me making representations. We have introduced a much better system than we used to have under his Administration.