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Controversial health bill to become law

Posted: 21 March 2012 by Rob Dabrowski

There is disappointment that the contentious NHS health reforms have been voted through.

The biggest reorganisation in the history of the health service is now set to become law.

After a year winding its way through parliament, the final vote for the health and social care bill took place yesterday (Tuesday). 

After more than 1000 amendments, the government managed to push the bill through with a majority of 88.

It will be now sent to the Queen for royal assent, and is expected to become law early next week.

But even in the last hour of debate, MPs continued to voice concerns about the bill.

And Labour stated that if it gets into power it will repeal the reforms ‘at the first opportunity’. 

Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives, said: ‘The RCM is disappointed that parliament has ignored the wishes of the vast majority of NHS staff, patients and the general public and has instead passed this unnecessary, costly and divisive bill for which there is no democratic mandate.
‘While the RCM called for the bill to be withdrawn we have always been committed to work with the NHS to improve the quality and standard of maternity care for women, babies and their families.

‘Midwives of course also have a profound sense of responsibility to the mothers and babies in their care and will continue to support them and provide the highest quality of care possible.
‘Now that the bill is to pass into law, we shall work with the government, the NHS, maternity services staff and mothers, their partners and families to develop a framework for maternity care that promotes integrated services, collaborative working and equitable, woman-centred care.

‘At the same time we will continue to oppose the concept of an NHS based on profit and any measure that could lead to the fragmentation of care, but will support innovation in models of care for women and their families.’
She added that the RCM will be ‘monitoring very closely’ the bill’s implementation, impact on maternity services and effects on the quality of care for women and babies.