Unison says so-called listening exercise on Health and Social Care Bill has not worked – government must drop the plans


A YouGov poll commissioned by UNISON suggests a majority of the public do not trust the government to handle the NHS

Only one in four supports the Coalition’s embattled Health and Social Care Bill.

The poll, carried out last week while the bill was being debated at Westminster and as Cabinet ministers were reported to be calling on Prime Minister David Cameron to withdraw the plans, found 62% did not trust the government’s handling of the NHS.

Only 28% were in favour of GPs having the power to commission health services from private companies – a central plank of Health Secretary Andrew Lansley’s proposals.

The results also spell trouble for the coalition, with Lib Dem voters showing hostility to both the bill and the government’s handling of the NHS.

Only 12% of those who voted Liberal Democrat in the 2010 election support the bill and just 20% trust the government on the NHS.

A large majority of 2010 Lib Dem voters (64%) is against private companies being commissioned by GPs to provide services.

Support is scant among Tory voters, too. Just 47% said they were in favour of the bill.  Nearly a quarter (24%) said they did not trust the government with the health service.

UNISON says patients, health professionals, unions, Royal Colleges, think tanks, as well as the public now want ministers to drop the flawed bill.

General secretary Dave Prentis (pictured) said: “UNISON’s poll shows that the hundreds of amendments, and the so-called the listening exercise simply haven’t worked.

“The public doesn’t trust the Government with the NHS and realises that this Frankenstein bill will mean the end of the health service as we know it.

“The Tory-led coalition is going back on pre-election promises, ploughing on despite the mounting opposition to this expensive reorganisation.  Meanwhile, all over the country health workers are losing their jobs as patients have pain-relieving operations cancelled.

“The government needs to start listening.  voters will never forgive or forget the party that ruins our NHS.”

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