LETTER: Investment for a healthier nation

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Horsham MP and Government minister Francis Maude has criticised the government’s £5.3bn central policy to save the NHS and claimed it will only work if private firms are given a much bigger role.

Speaking at a recent event in London, Mr Maude described the Better Care Fund as a disappointment. However, his Conservative colleague and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has praised the scheme’s ‘tremendous strategic importance’ and said it will play a vital role in helping the NHS.

Mr Maude is also unhappy that local NHS bodies have already awarded scores of contracts to mainly groups of public sector workers – GPs, community nurses and domiciliary care staff – to set up schemes to keep older people and those with long-term conditions in better health while remaining at home.

It is quite clear that Mr Maude’s agenda is to fast track and increase the level of privatisation within the NHS, this would have a dramatic, powerful and negative effect upon all but those who can afford expensive health insurance. The poorest in society who have limited access, and the rest of us would be placed in the situation of receiving vastly reduced access to high quality health care.

Once again Mr Maude criticises the hard working, dedicated and stretched health services staff, doctors, nurses, ancillary and administration alike. Rather than attack the NHS pushed into the current situation by the cuts to the health service, by this coalition government, Mr Maude should be fighting for greater investment and putting forward long term solutions rather than short term dogma.

The health service is worth more than being a critical football for MPs like Mr Maude. Long term, planned investment into the NHS creates a healthier nation, healthier work force and in turn a stronger economy.

MARTYN DAVIS

Labour Prospective Parliamentary candidate for Horsham, c/o Clarence Road, Horsham