Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, commenting on the Competition Commission ruling on NHS trust mergers, said:
“It’s a sad day for the NHS when competition lawyers, and not doctors, are deciding what’s best for patients. This decision is a result of David Cameron’s top down reorganisation of the NHS where competition is put ahead of patient care.
"When the NHS is facing such a huge financial challenge, we should be encouraging collaboration and not erecting barriers to it. Yet the Government’s hard-line approach to competition is blocking the efficiency savings the NHS needs to make. It is nothing short of madness that simple collaboration between health professionals is now deemed "anti-competitive". This just shows that you can’t trust David Cameron with the NHS.
"Evidence from around the world tells us that market-based health systems cost more, not less. Ministers have put the NHS on the wrong path. Patients are the losers when doctors can’t talk to each other. This is why Labour has a commitment to remove this market madness from the NHS by repealing the health and social care act in the first Queen’s Speech of the next Labour government. We will put the right values - compassion over competition, integration over fragmentation - at the heart of the NHS.