Lib Dem political adviser threatens to quit

Norman Lamb MP a close adviser to Nick Clegg has threatened to resgign unless changes are made to the proposed overhaul of the NHS. He said the plans posed a major ‘financial risk’ to the NHS, and patient care could suffer. He is currently the Lib Dem leader’s chief political adviser but before the election was the party's health spokesman in opposition.

Mr Lamb, the MP for North Norfolk said the planned changes were an "enormous political risk". He told the BBC’s Politics Show that the proposal to give GPs control of budgets should be phased in rather than ‘rushed into’.

“The sensible thing to do is to test it and see how it works. My real concern is the financial risk of doing it too quickly, because then services and patient care suffers,” he said." Mr Lamb said he felt "very strongly" about the issue - so much so that he was prepared to stand down if aspects of the changes were not modified. ‘I’ve said that if it’s impossible for me to carry on in my position, I will step down. And I think that it’s in the government’s interest to get it right in the way that I suggest. Getting the NHS right is the most important thing. And indeed it would be incredibly destabilising politically if we get this reform wrong,” he told the programme.

Nurses also up in arms

Meanwhile front-line clinical jobs in the NHS are under threat in England, the Royal College of Nursing claims. Its analysis of 21 NHS trusts where cuts were taking place found more than half of posts under threat were in areas such as nursing and midwifery. RCN leader Peter Carter said it could spell ;the biggest disaster in the history of our public services’.


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