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Enfield MP Nick de Bois issues 'red lines' over NHS reform
Nick de Bois (right) called for fellow Tories to make their views on NHS reform heard. Pictured with health secretary Andrew Lansley
ENFIELD MP Nick de Bois has issued a rallying cry to fellow Tories to stand up for their beliefs over reform of the NHS.
Nick de Bois has written to all Tory MPs, setting out a series of “red lines” from which he urges his party not to retreat.
The MP, elected in May last year, sat on the Parliamentary committee which scrutinised the Health and Social Care Bill, and has been a vocal proponent of the reforms on the table.
In his letter, he cited a recent party meeting where “widespread support” had been shown for the Bill and said it is “absolutely vital” their views are not ignored.
Mr de Bois said he was to “nail the myth” that the NHS is being privatised, but that patients can be treated by “any qualified provider”, and restated the desire for doctors and nurses to drive the reforms.
His comments have caused a stir, particularly the firm commitment to transfer commissioning services to GPs by April 2013, and the commitment that “Government should do nothing that stands in the way” of any qualified provider entering the NHS.
They seem to be in direct contradiction of a speech by Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, who said there would be "no sudden, top-down opening up of all NHS services to any qualified provider".
Mr Clegg also insisted there should be “no arbitrary deadline” for the switch from primary care trusts to GPs, and went on to suggest the bill should be delay by weeks if not month by going back to MPs for more scrutiny.
However, Mr de Bois has long maintained most of the Lib Dem demands are already contained in the bill, and wants the Government to protect the essential principles of the reform as they stand.