62% Don’t trust coalition on NHS!

Marchers in Enfield last November determined to defend the NHS and stop the closure of Chase Farm Hospital
Marchers in Enfield last November determined to defend the NHS and stop the closure of Chase Farm Hospital

A You Gov poll commissioned by Unison reveals that the majority (62 per cent) of the public do not trust the government to handle the NHS.

A Unison statement said: ‘There has been consistent public opposition to GPs using private companies to provide NHS services. A You Gov poll by the union last January (2011) revealed that only 27 per cent supported the moves.

‘The latest poll results also spell trouble for the coalition with the Lib Dems showing hostility to both the Health and Social Care Bill and the government’s handling of the NHS.

‘Only 12 per cent of 2010 Lib Dem voters support the Bill and just 20 per cent trust the government’s handling of the NHS. 64 per cent of 2010 Lib Dem voters are against private companies being commissioned by GPs to provide services.

‘The government can’t even muster majority support amongst Tory voters – just 47 per cent say they were in favour of the move. Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of Tory voters say they do not trust the government with the health service.’

The union is once again urging the government to listen to patients, health professionals, unions, Royal Colleges, think tanks, and to the public, and to drop the flawed Bill.

Unison General Secretary Dave Prentis said: ‘The government has to drop its Health and Social Care Bill.

‘Unison’s poll shows that the hundreds of amendments, and the so-called “listening exercise” simply haven’t worked.

‘The public doesn’t trust the government with the NHS and realises that this Frankenstein bill will mean the end of the health service as we know it.

‘The Tory-led coalition is going back on pre-election promises, ploughing on despite the mounting opposition to this expensive re-organisation.

‘Meanwhile, all over the country health workers are losing their jobs, as patients have pain-relieving operations cancelled.

‘The government needs to start listening. Voters will never forgive, or forget, the party that ruins our NHS.’

Meanwhile, Cameron has backed Health Secretary Lansley following speculation about his future due to the anger over the Bill.

He accused Labour of ‘opportunism’ in a comment piece in the Sunday Times, adding that he ‘was at one’ with Lansley.

Cameron wrote: ‘Choice, competition and transparency may unsettle some people. But it’s these things at the heart of our reform that will lead to the better NHS I care about and our country deserves.’

Shadow health secretary Burnham yesterday told the Andrew Marr Show that Cameron ‘is making a grave mistake by saying he is going to force it on to the statute book. He is putting his political pride before the best interests of the NHS.

‘There are folk all over the country now fighting Mr Cameron’s plans and I say to him, if he doesn’t listen to what people are saying, we are going to give him the fight of his life.’

Commenting on Prentis and Burhham’s remarks, ATUA National Secretary Dave Wiltshire told News Line: ‘Militant sounding speeches won’t save the NHS, general strike action is needed.

‘The TUC must be forced to call a general strike to smash the Health Bill, bring down the coalition and replace it with a workers’ government and socialism.’