David Cameron denies NHS Bill 'disaster' claim


David Cameron mounted a passionate defence of the coalition's controversial health reforms today despite the legislation being branded a "disaster".

The Prime Minister, whose disabled son Ivan died in 2009, said the shake-up was essential to ensure that everyone received the "amazing" care his family had.

He also dismissed suggestions that Health Secretary Andrew Lansley's job could be on the line over the issue.

The comments came during fiery exchanges at Prime Minister's Questions in the Commons.

With peers due to resume their scrutiny of the Health and Social Care Bill, Labour leader Ed Miliband urged Mr Cameron to "give up" on the changes.

"This is a matter of trust in the Prime Minister," he told MPs. "Can he honestly look people in the health service in the eye and say he's kept his promise of no more top-down reorganisation?"

Mr Miliband added: "He knows in his heart of hearts that this is a complete disaster. Why won't you just give up and stop wasting billions and drop your Bill?"

But Mr Cameron insisted GPs were not just "supporting our reforms, they are implementing our reforms".

"I care passionately about the NHS, not least because of what it has done for my family and because of the amazing service that I have received," he said.

"I want to see that excellent service implemented for everyone and that means two things: it means we have got to put more money into the NHS, and we are putting the money in, but it also means we have got to reform the NHS."

Speculation over Mr Lansley's position was fuelled yesterday when an unnamed Downing Street source was quoted saying the Health Secretary should be "taken out and shot" for mishandling the issue.

But Mr Cameron mocked Mr Miliband - who defeated brother David for the leadership - for lecturing on "happy families" in government.

"The career prospects for my right honourable friend (Mr Lansley) are a lot better than his," he joked.