Friday, 20 May 2011

Clegg: the NHS is our red line

He may have supported Lansley's Health and Social Care Bill in its original form, but one angry conference and an electoral battering later, and Nick Clegg is now all over the media attacking Tory plans for the NHS.

The Liberal Democrats want substantive changes to the role of Monitor - to ensure it isn't a force for the promotion of competition. It is, apparently, the Lib Dem's elusive red line.

Whether it will work, it's hard to say. The Tories, previously staring at a growing gap in the polls with Labour have recently recovered ground. They may be a little over-confident, considering they are currently maintaining (at best) a vote share that failed to win them the last General Election, but this may result in a certain degree of intransigence in their dealings with their weaker Lib Dem partners.

Meanwhile it's left to an Tory ex-minister, Stephen Dorrell, to rightly focus on one of the longest problems with health care provision in the UK - the lack of co-ordination between social care and health care...something that Lansley's aim of fragmenting the service will only make much, much worse.

No-wonder rumours are abound that Dorrell may be in line for Lansley's job.

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