A health minister challenged by Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham to apologise to the people of Teesside for wasting £50 million on reorganising the NHS refused to recognise the extent of the problem.
On the day a major survey showed the public’s confidence in the NHS was collapsing, Alex told the House of Commons that the Tory government had also spent £9 million making hundreds of Teessiders redundant and all at the same time as they were cutting £40 million from local hospital budgets.
Alex asked the Minister if he would apologise to the people of Teesside for wasting their money and if he would confirm none of those made redundant would be rehired into other parts of the new NHS structures.
Tory Minister Simon Burns declined to apologise saying simply that the NHS had to make savings and completely dodged the issue of wasted redundancy pay.
“It is absolutely stunning that the reorganisation of the health service has cost such vast sums of money and hundreds of jobs are being lost on Teesside and all at the same time as local hospitals are being ordered to cut their budgets by tens of millions of pounds.
“Our hospitals and other health care services are working extremely hard to maintain and improve services but it is inevitable that patient care will suffer, waiting lists will get longer and people will die earlier because of these endless cuts.
“Today’s news that the public’s confidence in the government’s management of the NHS is plummeting is no surprise. The government have broken their promises to protect the NHS.
“Sadly the Minister doesn’t appear to recognise what the vast majority of the public are saying – that they are extremely worried about the future of the NHS.”