Wirral MP speaks out against Health and Care Bill
You are here: Home
/ Wirral MP speaks out against Health and Care Bill
16 Jul 2021
Wirral West MP Margaret Greenwood has spoken out
against the government’s Health and Care Bill which had its Second Reading in
The legislation will establish statutory Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) and
Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs).
This follows the formation of non-statutory
Integrated Care Systems (ICS) which have developed across 42 areas of England
since 2016, with Wirral being part of the one for Cheshire and Merseyside.
If the Health and Care Bill becomes law, ICBs will take on the commissioning
functions of local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), which will be
abolished, and they will be directly accountable for NHS spend and performance
within the new system.
ICPs will be tasked with developing a strategy to address the health, social
care and public health needs of its 'system'. The ICB and local authorities
will have to have regard to that plan when making decisions.
Margaret Greenwood MP has been critical of the government’s plans since they
were first announced in the form of a white paper back in February.
Now, the Labour MP is warning that the bill will lead to:
- a postcode lottery, with ICBs deciding which treatments to prioritise, and
which not to prioritise in their given areas
- increased rationing of services, with patients being forced to wait longer
for treatment or go without
- big business at the heart of both ICBs and ICPs, with private companies
influencing decisions about what health and social care is available in an
area, despite the fact those very same companies will, in all likelihood, be
seeking contracts to deliver health and care in that same area
- vulnerable patients being put at risk and families being left to pick up the
pieces as a result of the bill removing the requirement for social care needs
assessments to be carried out before a patient is discharged from
- serious implications for the quality of patient care over time, as well as
the future pay and terms and conditions of staff because of the powers in the
bill to deregulate NHS professions.
Margaret Greenwood MP said:
"The government’s Health and Care Bill is an extremely damaging piece of
legislation with serious implications for patients and for NHS staff.
"The devil really is in the detail of this bill.
"I believe it is inevitable that we will see the emergence of a postcode
lottery and increased rationing.
"ICBs will have strict financial limits each year, and once that money is gone,
patients may have to wait longer or go without treatment. It also opens the
possibility of beds
closing towards the end of the financial year so that ICBs can achieve
financial balance. It makes no sense.
"Vulnerable patients will be put at risk because of the government’s reckless
hospital discharge policy and families will be left to pick up the pieces.
Those without family will be at risk of isolation and lack of care.
"Instead of protecting and strengthening the shared vision that our NHS should
be universal and comprehensive, paid for through direct taxation and delivered
sector employees, the government is handing it gift-wrapped to big
"The bill is a recipe for cronyism – the kind which we have seen so much of
during the pandemic, with the government handing billions of pounds of
taxpayers’ money to private firms to people they happen to have a personal
"The NHS Constitution states very clearly: the NHS belongs to the people. This
bill threatens that fundamental principle.
"That is why I voted against the Health and Care Bill at second reading."