Health and Care Bill: Eastbourne residents question MP’s vote

Eastbourne residents have questioned MP Caroline Ansell’s decision to vote in favour of the new Health and Care Bill.

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 4:58 pm

Mrs Ansell voted in favour of the Bill, which has divided parliament with 294 ‘ayes’ and 244 ‘noes’, at its third reading.

Just three conservative MPs voted against the Bill while only one non-Tory was in favour of it.

The Government said the Bill aims to ‘make provision about health and social care.’

Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell SUS-191212-141024001

Old Town resident Matt French said, “I was appalled by some of the votes cast in Parliament by our MP Caroline Ansell over the past couple of weeks, and I hope the majority of your readers are aware of their implications.

“For anyone not aware, the Health and Care Bill will allow private companies to have unlimited representation on NHS decision making boards, while local authority seats on the same boards will be limited.

“Experts say this will mean more healthcare services being provided by private healthcare firms in future, and us having to pay for previously free services.

“The Health and Care Bill would also remove the obligation for public tendering for NHS services, which will allow ministers to bypass normal procurement rules.

“This is more concerning given the scandal over the VIP lane for PPE procurement that allowed Ministers and Conservative MPs to give large contracts to companies with no experience run by Tory donors.”

Mr French also voiced his concerns as ‘we head towards the more privatisation of the NHS’.

The Old Town resident added, “Specifically, Mrs Ansell promised ‘nobody needing care should be forced to sell their home to pay for it’. Now the poorest in the country will be forced to sell the homes they worked their lives to pay for in order to pay their care bills. It is shameful.

“I am not alone in thinking the Government’s Health and Care Bill is an abomination.

“Many of Mrs Ansell’s fellow Conservative MPs even abstained from the vote on the Bill, while more voted against the Government on the amendment that will force people to sell their homes to pay for their care.

“Mrs Ansell has let the NHS down, and in doing so her constituents.”

Eleanor Dudley, who lives in Trinity Trees, also raised concerns about the Bill.

She said, “The social care bill will take £86,000 from peoples assets if they need social care in their old age.

“That’s 86 per cent of the assets of a elderly person who has £100,000 in assets – the only people this bill protects are the wealthy – it should be that everyone pays a percentage of their wealth, that would be fairer to everyone.

“I hope our MP will ponder on this when the bill comes back to parliament.”

Mrs Ansell said, “The vote on Monday was the opening vote on the Health and Care Bill, one of many to come as this legislation goes through Parliament in the coming months.

“It will develop and be improved by that process. An impact assessment is also to be published and I will look closely at that before any final vote next year.

“The Prime Minister is to be commended for addressing the pressing issue of social care funding reform. No other political party has done so for decades.

“The proposed cap for social care costs means no-one would lose out and it is a game-changer for how much people would have to pay.

“Many families in Eastbourne and Willingdon are caught up right now in today’s system of almost unlimited social care costs. This reform would end that.

“Eleven people have contacted me this week on this issue and can I encourage anyone who wants to engage on the Bill, and what it means to them, to directly get in touch.”

Mrs Ansell said the Minister for Care, MP Gillian Keegan, has accepted her invitation to visit the town and talk through the Bill’s proposals.