MP Jonathan Reynolds is backing new calls for the government to drop its Health and Social Care Bill.
As part of the controversial Bill the government plans to abolish Primary Care Trusts and Strategic Health Authorities – giving the responsibility for planning, negotiating, monitoring and managing £80bn of the NHS services to GPs.
The changes would mean GPs would be able to commission services from NHS providers or from private companies. And for the first time the Bill gives the green light for providers to compete on price, rather than quality.
The controversial Bill has already passed through the Commons and is now being considered by the House of Lords.
However last night the Government indicated it would abandon much of its plans to promote the autonomy of NHS organisations, to secure the votes it needed to pass through the House of Lords.
And that has prompted new calls from Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham for the Government to axe the Bill.
Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham has launched the ‘Drop the Bill’ campaign, as an opportunity for the full scale of public and professional opinion to be heard.
And the campaign is being backed by Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds, who has previously dismissed the plans as "a dangerous gamble with one of the country’s most prized institutions".
Launching the Drop the Bill campaign, Andy Burnham said: "
In Opposition, David Cameron promised no top-down re-organisation of the NHS. In Government, he went back on his word and ordered the biggest ever.
"Cameron’s dangerous Health Bill has no democratic legitimacy. Quite simply, nobody voted for it.
"The NHS is already facing the biggest financial challenge in its history. The very last thing it needs right now is to waste £2billion on a costly and distracting re-organisation."
The campaign will include an online petition, which can be found at www.dropthebill.com
And over the next three months there will be a number of ‘Drop the Bill’ rallies across the English regions.
A survey by the Royal College of General Practitioners (published on October 10) has already suggested that almost three out of four GPs support calls for the Bill to be dropped.
And Mr Reynolds hopes that the new campaign will allow the full scale of public opinion to be heard.
He said: "I do believe that the plans are a dangerous gamble – and it is reckless for any Government to gamble with something as precious as the NHS.
"This Bill risks the break-up the NHS – leading to the abolition of national standards and possible widespread variation in the treatments available on the NHS.
"It will also undermine the relationship between doctor and patient and increase in waiting times.
"And that is too great a price for moves that are rooted in ideology rather than in a determination to improve the provision of healthcare.
"It is now clear that professional as well as public opinion is growing against the proposals – and it is time for the Government to listen to both.
"I will be backing the ‘Drop the Bill’ campaign and I hope everyone with an interest in the provision of healthcare and the future of the NHS will do the same."
More information about the campaign can be found at www.dropthebill.com