Labour criticises “politicisation of CQC following call for increased competition within the NHS”

The Labour Party has accused the government of politicising the Care Quality Commission following a call from David Prior, the CQC chairman, to increase private sector involvement in the NHS.

Mr Prior has in the past served as a Tory MP for North Norfolk, and served as chairman of Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital prior to taking the post at CQC.  Earlier in the week he called for serious changes in the NHS and stated there was a need for “more competition to drive up standards of care; more entrants into the market from private sector companies, the voluntary sector and other care providers.”

Commenting on Mr Prior’s statement, Labour MP Andy Burnham said it was not the job of Mr Prior, in his position as chairman of the independent watchdog, to make the case for greater private sector involvement in the NHS.  He stated “He made a sustained attack on the NHS and called for more privatisation…were those comments reflecting the policy of the CQC, are they the policy of the Government or are they personal comments?  We need to hear from the Government about whether these are appropriate comments for the chairman of the regulator to be making.”  Mr Burnham added that he intended to challenge the government on the “politicisation” of the CQC in an Opposition Day debate in the Commons today.

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