NHS reform plans to be discussed by MPs

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MPs are due to discuss a report on one of the biggest Bills to reform the National Health Service today.

The Health and Social Care Bill has been put forward by health secretary Andrew Lansley but has been met with fierce opposition.

Unions Unite and Unison have expressed concern the plans could lead to privatisation of the NHS.

James Smith, area organiser for Unison, said: ‘It will be interesting now to see which way MPs will vote.

‘Earlier this year around 400,000 signatures opposing the plans were presented to MPs – people still stand by that.’

Nationally, Unite, who is working with the Medical Practitioners’ Union, say more than 500 doctors have signed a petition asking for the Bill to be withdrawn.

MPU president Dr Ron Singer said: ‘At what is a critical week for the future of the NHS, a substantial number of GPs have expressed their anger at the direction of government policy, which, we believe, will herald the large-scale privatisation of the health service.’

A decision on the Bill is likely to be made tomorrow.