Funding the NHS

We all agree that the NHS is precious and should remain a public institution, available to everyone and free at the point of delivery. The Labour narrative on NHS privatisation is pure scaremongering. See my speech in full: https://goo.gl/zdUzig

It is crucial that businesses make profits, invest and innovate for the future, reduce paperwork, increase scientific solutions to all sorts of difficult health issues and improve the life chances of patients. There is a difference between sensible, profitable and innovative businesses and profiteering. The devil is in the detail. The principle of bringing private finance into the public sector is fundamentally a good one and approved of by, I think, all major parties.

The real issue is the long term funding of the NHS, and I believe the only effective way is to bring in a dedicated source of funds. The most obvious of those is national insurance, which does not really insure anybody for anything. It should be renamed the NHS fund, and I'm so pleased that the King’s Fund is researching this and potential challenges now. All of us depend on the NHS for our health and care. We should leave the partisan efforts at point-scoring on privatisation and focus on what we can all contribute to the bigger debate about a long-term source of funding for a fully publicly owned NHS.