Boris tells Javid: Continue Hancock's 'bureaucracy busting' NHS reform

Boris Johnson orders Sajid Javid to continue Matt Hancock’s ‘bureaucracy-busting’ shake-up of the NHS after new Health Secretary tries to put the brakes on controversial reform

  • Javid urged PM to put the brakes on the massive shake up of the health service 
  •  The Government has pledged to ‘bust bureaucracy’ and reverse 2012 changes
  • Bill also contains other contentious plans, including pre-9pm junk food ad ban 

Sajid Javid has clashed with Boris Johnson over wide-ranging NHS reform just days after replacing Matt Hancock as Health Secretary. 

Mr Javid urged the Prime Minister to put the brakes on the massive shake up of the health service proposed by his predecessor, claiming there were ‘significant areas of contention’ had yet to be resolved. 

The Government has pledged to ‘bust bureaucracy’ in the health service and the plan will eventually see the Department of Health given controlling power of the NHS, with its current chief executive Sir Simon Stevens due to resign in September and become a peer.

The bill also contains other contentious plans, including a ban on junk food advertising before 9pm. 

It a letter to the Prime Minister, reported by the Times, Mr Javid said he was worried about a ‘huge bill with a scope that extends beyond the NHS into all aspects of health and care’.  

Mr Javid urged the Prime Minister to put the brakes on the massive shake up of the health service proposed by his predecessor, claiming there were ‘significant areas of contention’ had yet to be resolved.

The Government has pledged to ‘bust bureaucracy’ in the health service and the plan will eventually see the Department of Health given controlling power of the NHS, with its current chief executive Sir Simon Stevens due to resign in September and become a peer.

He said his ‘initial instincts’ were to delay the bill, due to be introduced to Parliament this week.

But the paper said that Mr Johnson had over-ruled him, saying any postponement would put back the plans by a year. 

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: ‘Sajid Javid has only been back five minutes and already Downing Street is overruling him again.

‘Boris Johnson wants to push ahead with Hancock’s power grab top down reorganisation. Ministers should focus on bringing down waiting lists of five million instead. 

According to the new legislative plan the Government ‘will restrict the promotions on high fat, salt and sugar food and drinks in retailers from April 2022’.

It could affect avocados, houmous, salmon and Marmite, although officials insist it would be targeted at foods high in sugar, salt, fat or calories. 

The Health and Care Bill will also ‘include measures to ban junk food adverts pre-9pm watershed on TV and for a total ban online’.

The Prime Minister was once a vocal opponent of ‘nanny state’ meddling in eating and drinking habits, speaking out against efforts by Jamie Oliver to reform school meals.

But he underwent a Damascene conversion after a near-fatal brush with Covid last spring.

He admitted being ‘too fat’ was the reason for his stint in intensive care. Obesity is one of the main risk factors for the virus.

Last summer the PM unveiled a wide-ranging drive to improve public health, including a ban on buy-one-get-one-free deals for junk food, as well as the ban on online junk food adverts.

Former health secretary Mr Hancock – who quit last weekend for breaking Covid rules while having an affair – previously pointed to studies suggesting children see 15billion adverts for unhealthy food every year.

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