IN RECENT months, many people in Eastbourne have raised concerns with me about the Government’s proposed NHS reforms.
They were not alone. Medical professionals and organisations spoke out and the Liberal Democrats raised major concerns at our spring conference in March.
Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats have worked hard to make sure these concerns were addressed and I am proud our influence in Government has meant that they have been.
The bill is now a whole lot better and will make sure decisions are taken in the best interests of patients.
We have ensured there will be no privatisation of the NHS and no special favours for the private sector.
There will be a level playing field, not a race to the bottom. The pace of change has been slowed down to ensure those taking on new responsibilities do so when they are ready.
And we have ensured the NHS is properly accountable, both nationally and locally. Above all, Liberal Democrats believe the NHS must always be a national service based on need and free at the point of use.
In Eastbourne we will continue to fight for core services including consultant-led maternity to be maintained at our local hospital.
The NHS still faces major challenges, with an ageing population and rising costs, but I am confident these changes will mean it is better placed to meet these challenges.
Eastbourne Liberal Democrats