Andrew Lansley branded one of the worst health ministers since NHS foundation by union

 

Andrew Lansley was described today as one of the worst health secretaries since the NHS was formed in 1948.

Health workers' union Unite said the departure of the "disastrous" Mr Lansley gives an opportunity for a "complete rethink" on the future of the health service.

The union's head of health, Rachael Maskell, said: "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."

Peter Carter, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said: "In challenging times for the health service, the RCN has not seen eye to eye with Andrew Lansley on the Government's health reforms.

"The RCN will now be looking to work with incoming Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt to ensure that the nursing voice is heard.

"There are profound challenges facing health in the UK, such as the need to save £20 billion from across the NHS in England, staff being asked to do more with less, waiting lists lengthening and waiting times rising, threats to public health, the delivery of social care to an ageing population, and the demands of shifting care from hospitals into the community and an unnecessary shift to regional pay."

Unison's head of health, Christina McAnea said: "The coalition Government presided over the most damaging piece of legislation that the NHS has ever seen in the Health and Social Care Act, and this will be Andrew Lansley's legacy.

"Changing the name over the door will not change our opinion of the Act. It is about policies, not personalities, and our opposition will continue as long as this coalition's assault on our NHS persists.

"Jeremy Hunt has an opportunity to listen to patients, professionals and unions about the damage the Act will continue to do to the NHS, let's hope he does not waste it."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Digital Trade Advisers - Yorkshire and Humber

£29500 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company in Yorkshire and t...

Recruitment Genius: Project and Resource Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing experience-led technology co...

Recruitment Genius: Production Scientist

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises in the...

Recruitment Genius: Factory Manager - Food

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable