Tuesday, 4 September 2012 10:57 AM
The departure of the ‘disastrous’ Andrew Lansley from the Department of Health gives an opportunity for a complete re-think on the future of the NHS, Unite, the largest union in the country, said today (Tuesday, 4 September).
Unite’s head of health, Rachael Maskell said: “Jeremy Hunt as the new health secretary has a real opportunity to ride the public mood and ensure the NHS remains a universal service, free at the point of delivery to all those in need.
“The NHS has been pushed to the brink of destruction by Andrew Lansley - a minister who simply would not listen either to the patients or the professionals. Jeremy Hunt must reflect deep and hard on the errors of his predecessor and seek immediate dialogue with the NHS team and their unions.
“He has the power to slam the door on the increasing privatisation of the NHS.
“Andrew Lansley must rank as one of the worst health secretaries since the NHS was formed in 1948.
"He presided over deeply, unpopular bungled reforms which heralded rising waiting lists; £20 billion cuts to services; job losses to thousands of nurses and other health workers; installed an expensive, needless bureaucracy; and announced an open sesame to the private firms which put profit before patient care.
“He was also responsible for dramatic cuts to pay and pensions, as well as long-established terms and conditions. NHS staff have had their morale crushed by Lansley’s unlistening and steamroller mindset.
“David Cameron may have shunted him elsewhere, but serious work is needed now to repair the dreadful damage wrought by Lansley and his policies.”
For further information please contact Unite communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.