Chief Executive of NHS England at the Health Select Committee

On Tuesday 28 October 2014 the Health Select Committee of which Valerie Vaz MP for Walsall South is a member heard evidence from the Chief Executive of NHS England, Mr Simon Stevens.

Valerie said:

“At the Health Select committee this week I suggested to Mr Stevens, that I was surprised that he launched the NHS’s Five Year Forward View on Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme rather than before the Committee. Members of Parliament are the very people who have direct responsibility and accountability to the taxpayer. He indicated that things had to change. This means that this Report was only necessary because of the £3bn reorganisation of the NHS and the Health and Social Care Act 2012 which has led to a fragmentation of services.”

“Cancer services and end of life care in Cannock and Staffordshire are in the process of being privatised or outsourced which could impact Walsall. Local people and clinicians were not consulted and do not want this, but it is still going ahead. ‘File on 4’ said that NHS England was not involved, but it was confirmed to me in evidence during a previous Health Select Committee that NHS England are being paid £250,000 by the CCGs for their advice. I asked for the £1.2bn, ten year contract to be put on hold. I am pleased that I was able to get confirmation that a final decision will not be made until after the General Election in 2015.”

“TTIP is a transatlantic trade agreement between the US and the EU and currently there is a lack of clarity on whether the NHS is included in this agreement. I asked Mr Stevens if he would fight to make sure that the NHS is not included in TTIP. After a series of questions Mr Stevens finally said that he would.”

“The first strikes by NHS staff for over 30 years took place on Monday 13 October. This was as a result of the Government’s failure to award a recommended 1% pay rise. I asked Mr Stevens if he thought that the NHS staff should get their 1% pay rise as the economy had returned to growth. I am pleased Mr Stevens confirmed to me that he did not believe that pay freezes will be repeatable year over year to make savings in the NHS.”

More information on the Health Select Committee’s inquiry on Public Expenditure on Health and Social Care can be found here:

‘File on 4’ is a BBC Radio 4 programme. The episode ‘NHS: Testing the Market’ is available here: