Rotherham health services could lose £17m, says John Healey

DAVID Cameron’s NHS shake-up will cost more than £17 million in Rotherham, MP John Healey claimed this week.

The former shadow health secretary says £17.6 million will need to be set aside from budgets for the restructure.

Wentworth and Dearne MP Mr Healey added: “These shocking new figures show the Government's reorganisation is costing the NHS even more than we first feared.

“It’s scandalous that they are telling our local NHS to hold back millions of pounds for their own reckless plans while thousands of nursing jobs are being axed.

“Spending this amount on an unnecessary reorganisation is totally unjustifiable when every single penny should be focused on maintaining standards of care.”

Mr Healey led Labour’s opposition to the coalition’s modernising Health Bill until he resigned from the shadow cabinet in October. The party continues to run an online petition against the paper.

The Government says the Bill is “vital” in its vision of a modernised NHS service. It maintains that the system will be built around patients, led by health professionals and focused on delivering world-class healthcare.

But Mr Healey said: “Before his plans are even fully through Parliament, the reorganisation is hitting the NHS hard.

“At the election Cameron ruled out top-down NHS reorganisations. But only weeks after entering Number 10, he ripped up his own words and ordered the biggest and most dangerous upheaval of the NHS since it began.

“The time has come for him to listen, put the NHS first and drop his dangerous Bill."

NHS Rotherham said it does not comment on political discussions.