That John Pugh has been deeply involved in the Health and Social care debate is not news, but that he chose the week before Conference to publish an 'alternative to Lansley' will surprise some. The paper appeared on John's website last night and can be found in full here
Southport MP John Pugh has presented to Coalition Ministers an alternative to Andrew Lansley's Health Bill. The bill will be debated at this week's Lib Dem Spring Conference and in the Lords.
In a paper drafted by the MP he argues that should the government do a handbrake turn on the controversial bill, the alternative is not leaving the NHS in limbo.
Supporters of the bill argue that with many of the NHS organisations scheduled to be abolished by the Bill have already collapsed and that there is no way back.
John Pugh though proposes that the cluster groups of Primary Care Trusts that now temporarily run the local NHS could be the foundation for democratically controlled and clinically led Health Boards similar to those found in Northern Ireland. Such boards would control health and social care avoiding the expensive and disjointed shunting of elderly patients between the NHS and Social Services.
The MP states that he has received a very positive response to his proposals from clinical leaders and says:
"It is important that we map out a new direction for the NHS that does not repeat the tired old prescription of more competition and the futile effort to treat the country's health service like a market.
There needs to be other alternatives to the Lansley proposals that are not just Lansley-lite or Blair Mark 2 or stagnation- alternatives that professionals can support. What I propose will not be without its critics but it will involve substantially less bureaucracy and upheaval than the government's current proposals."