Andrew Lansley heckled by June Hautot in NHS protest

 

Mr Lansley was heckled by a protester who refused to let him pass

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David Cameron has said there "are a few myths we need to bust" and pledged to push ahead with his NHS changes after his health secretary was heckled and jostled outside Downing Street.

Andrew Lansley was greeted with shouts of "shame" as he headed for a meeting inside No 10 about the NHS.

After the meeting, the prime minister said reform was "never easy".

Groups including the British Medical Association and Royal College of Nursing say they have been excluded.

Proposals in the Health and Social Care Bill include giving GPs control of much of the NHS budget and opening up the health service to greater competition from the private and voluntary sector. These have proved controversial.

On Friday, members of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health joined several Royal Medical Colleges, including the Royal College of GPs, in calling for the bill to be scrapped.

'Not sensible'

Unions and professional bodies, including the British Medical Association (BMA), the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and the Royal College of Midwives, are also among those who want it to be withdrawn.

The government said the Downing Street meeting was designed for those "constructively engaged in implementing the modernisation".

The NHS protester

Andrew Lansley and June Hautot

Andrew Lansley was confronted about the NHS by June Hautot. Ms Hautot is 75 and a retired NHS union rep. She is from Tooting in south London Here are excerpts of their exchange:

Hautot: "The waiting lists are going to go up, so you can wait"

Lansley: "I promise you waiting times in the NHS are coming down, it will not go private"

Hautot: "I've had enough of you and Cameron. Are you going to go home?"

Lansley: "The NHS is not for sale, there will be no privatisation."

Hautot: "Codswallop, you've been privatising since 1979. Don't you dare lie to me"

Lansley: "1979?"

As he arrived, Mr Lansley was shouted at by several protesters waiting by the gates of Downing Street.

One woman, June Hautot, a former Unison rep, barred his way, telling the health secretary: "I'm not getting out of the way."

Mr Lansley told her that the NHS was not being privatised and said waiting lists were down.

She also appeared to prod Mr Lansley, who was forced to walk around her to get to a gate to enter Downing Street.

Afterwards, Mr Lansley described the confrontation as "sticks and stones" and insisted he was determined to stick with the planned reforms.

Speaking after the incident, Ms Hautot told the BBC: "The NHS is supposed to be from cradle to grave. It doesn't matter who's in power; we're here to save the NHS."

Another protester, London GP Louise Perkins, said: "Cameron is misrepresenting us by saying he has GP support. He doesn't. You could get the number of supporters into a telephone booth."

Asked about the protest after the meeting, the PM said: "Reform is never easy, but it is vital to reform our NHS because I want it to be there looking after every family in the country and doing a good job into the future.

"We had a constructive and helpful meeting and what's clear is that there are quite a few myths that we need to bust about this reform.

"Choice for patients is a good thing: making sure that GPs, not bureaucrats, are making decisions, that's a good thing.

"So there are myths we need to bust, but I also heard how, on the ground, where some of the reforms are already taking place, you are actually seeing better health outcomes, GPs doing more things for their patients, people living healthier lives as a result of these changes."

During a visit to a hospital in Romford, north London, later in the day, Mr Lansley said his door was "always open" to groups like the BMA and the RCN who were not invited to the earlier meeting.

WHO WENT AND WHO DID NOT

ATTENDED:

  • NHS Confederation
  • Royal College of Anaesthetists
  • Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
  • Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
  • Royal College of Physicians of London
  • Royal College of Surgeons of England
  • NHS Alliance
  • Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations
  • National Voices
  • National Association of Primary Care

DID NOT ATTEND:

  • British Medical Association
  • Royal College of GPs
  • Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
  • College of Occupational Therapists
  • Royal College of Midwives
  • Faculty of Public Health
  • Royal College of Nursing
  • Royal College of Ophthalmologists
  • Royal College of Pathologists
  • Royal College of Psychiatrists
  • Unison
  • Unite

Earlier Peter Carter, from the RCN, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We really don't think it's a sensible way forward to think that you can have a meeting which has been called an emergency summit to take things forward without involving many of the key organisations that are intrinsic to making sure the NHS is successful."

In a statement on the meeting, the British Medical Association said: "It would seem odd if the major bodies representing health professionals were not included."

And Sarah Gorton, the senior national officer for health at the public sector union Unison, said: "Health workers should have their voices heard when major changes to the health service are being discussed."

A Downing Street spokesman said the prime minister had no plans to meet health groups opposed to the NHS changes, but added that he was "listening to health professionals about how we can implement the reforms we have set out".

He said the government had held "countless meetings with health professionals and would continue to do so".

At the meeting the prime minister was expected to point to evidence that emergency hospital admissions had fallen year-on-year for the first time.

Andrew Lansley: "Privatisation is no part of our plans for the NHS"

Department of Health figures show a 0.5% decline in 2011, compared with a 36% increase between 2001 and 2010.

The BBC News Channel's chief political correspondent, Norman Smith, said the government felt the time for "tweaking, amending and altering" the health bill was over and that there was no point continuing to "talk to those health groups they felt were pretty much decided against the changes".

Labour opposes the bill and party leader Ed Miliband said: "This bunker mentality is the wrong way to run the NHS...

"It's not too late to start listening to the doctors, the nurses and the midwives. It's not too late to listen to patients."

 

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  • rate this
    +11

    Comment number 386.

    I think that the big problem is one of blind obedience to Tory Party Dogma. Tories are unable to understand the difference between a SERVICE and a BUSINESS.
    One is there to give aid to people who need it. The other is there to provide shareholder dividends.
    This is why the two are incompatible n'est pas?

  • Comment number 385.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +39

    Comment number 384.

    This is becoming a very costly time consuming ill conceived bill. The idea that having a meeting with the organisational bodies that have been responsible for the NHS inefficencies in the past is likely to improve it defies logic!

  • rate this
    +14

    Comment number 383.

    Competition equals massive loses for the Public at the expense of private business profit. There are countless examples, examination boards, utility companies, Elderly & Learning Difficulty care homes Railway companies. Why do some people think this privitisation will be any different? My experience in care has shown me state care homes treat people as people whilst private treat them as £££

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 382.

    368.
    mervhob
    333 Movinon

    "You did! Except in companies run by Germans and Japanese. But, this is the area which most needs reform - admin, management, IT - basic system design."

    There you go, still thinking that others can do it better, be more competetive. Why "except Germans and Japanese"? That thinking is exactly why institutions such as NHS are foundering.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 381.

    358.Total Mass Retain

    9 Minutes ago

    . Do you want to pay significantly more taxes for a system like France's?


    Yes. In France nobody gets turned away unlike the the evil empire over the atlantic where you only get the treatment you can pay for

  • Comment number 380.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 379.

    I know Dave and his cronnies have gone off for a publicly paid for luch, but isn't this bill down to Lansley (£21,000 from a private sector health care (American) company)?

  • Comment number 378.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this
    +10

    Comment number 377.

    I have no doubt the result of this meeting will be that everyone who agrees with the Bill (that's Cameron and Lansley) will agree with it and every one who opposes it won't .Hang on they haven't been invited so it will be a resounding yes!
    Democracy is alive and well and living in Downing Street!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 376.

    Labour, libdems and conservatives ''are all in this together' when it comes to privatisation in the NHS.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 375.

    313. Some Lingering Fog

    Yes, I am anti-Tory …as you clearly gathered from my previous post!

    Why should I 'expect' you to be 'swayed' by my opinion? I'm not a second hand car dealer or politician desperate to sell you something I have no intention of honoring. Make up your own mind ...I did, and you haven't changed that.

    I will stand by my 'opinion' until ‘proven’ otherwise.

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 374.

    I do think that this could be Mr Cameron's (Flashman) "emperors new clothes/poll tax moment". Let us hope that it becomes so cringingly embarrassing for him he is forced to think about resigning over the mishandling of this issue. He won't resign of course he's not wired to fall on his sword honourably but it may wipe that irritatingly smug grin off his self-satisfied face for a wee while.

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 373.

    According to the OECD, the 'private' US health system costs more for many services (60% more for drugs). The money spent in that system does not translate into better health: the UK has a higher life expectancy than the US (79.4 vs 78.3). Why is this so? Because the US system is actually a private/public hybrid, so the administrative costs are huge. Why on earth do the LibTories want to copy it?

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 372.

    No mention ANYWHERE of Dave's trip to the Royal Victoria Infirmary -

    Always thought that the BBC is just a propaganda mouthpiece for politicians with no journalistic teeth to tell it as it really is in case the general public rise up and rebel.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 371.

    #347 – Och it’s ok, I just tire easily and the leetle grey cells toddle off for a wander.

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 370.

    "354.Some Lingering Fog
    I'm interested if anyone can point out the relevant sections in the bill which contradict the statements about the service still being free at the point of delivery."

    That's not the point, and you know it. It's about ownership, physical and social. If you don't think NHS property is not already being handed over to private firms you've not been keeping an eye on the news.

  • rate this
    +95

    Comment number 369.

    I am retired now but when I was a senior manager in business it was always imperitive to obtain "buy-in" from my managers to implement difficult changes of process.
    It is ALWAYS counterproductive to ignore dissenting voices.
    The PM should have invited EVERYBODY and discussed the problems with ALL parties.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 368.

    333 Movinon

    You did! There is little that is genuinely innovative in industries that can only develop toddler toys, and innovation in management long since ceased to exist. Except in companies run by Germans and Japanese. But, this is the area which most needs reform - admin, management, IT - basic system design. Lansley's bill contains no measures to improve this - only more admin layers.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 367.

    357. koolkarmauk
    JUST NOW
    347.Dave

    He is and will lay the foundations to full Privatisation, which as I understand is the concern most people have.

    And this claim has been made against just about every Conservative Government since the inception of the NHS. Why should this be different, given that it is a Coalition government and there is nothing big enough to give the Lib Dems in exchange?

 

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