Labour's attempts to block clause 119 of the care bill, which would give ministers greater power to close down hospitals, is "irresponsible scaremongering of the worst kind".
A Conservative Party spokesman said:
These claims from Andy Burnham are irresponsible scaremongering of the worst kind - changes to the special administrator regime will simply ensure that patients get safe care, and these powers have only ever been used in extremis twice since 2009, when Labour introduced them in the first place.
This Government is determined to turn round failing hospitals, unlike the Opposition, which didn't confront the sort of under performance and failure we tragically saw at Mid Staffs.
Some of the trusts Labour believe would be put "at risk" by clause 119 of the care bill are:
- United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust
- Barts Health NHS Trust
- Croydon Health Services NHS Trust
- East Cheshire NHS Trust
- Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust
- University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust
- University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust
- Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Bolton NHS Foundation Trust
- Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Labour has accused the Government of neglecting the NHS' first responsibility to clinical care and instead, having a financial focus when making changes to hospitals.
Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham said:
Jeremy Hunt wants to ride roughshod over local communities and have carte blanche to break up the NHS without anyone else having a say.
With more and more hospitals in financial difficulty, this move could hit every community in the land and leave them voiceless in the face of changes to their services.
Labour is clear: changes to hospitals should be driven by clinical, not financial, reasons with local people involved every step of the way.
That is why we believe these plans are dangerous and wrong. It is time for Parliament to stop an arrogant Secretary of State from overstepping the mark.
Labour is appealing for Tory and Liberal Democrat MPs to help block measures it says will give ministers sweeping powers to close hospitals.
Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said clause 119 of the Care Bill - due to be debated in the Commons today - would allow Jeremy Hunt to "ride roughshod" over local residents' concerns.
Charging patients for A&E services "goes against the founding principles of the NHS" and the Government has "no plans" to introduce fees, despite GP support for the scheme, a department of health spokesman said.
Charging patients who use A&E goes against the founding principles of the NHS and there are no plans to introduce fees.
We know radical action is needed to tackle pressures on A&E. That's why we recently agreed a new GP contract, backed by doctors across the country, which will mean better care for older people out of hospital.
These changes are part of a longer-term plan to bring back the personal link with patients so GPs can focus on giving people the care they need and preventing unnecessary trips to hospital.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health said that patients should not be affected by the grounding of air ambulances:
We understand this isa precautionary measure and that contingency plans with other air ambulancesand ambulance services are in place to ensure patients are not affected.
The Royal College for GPs has said that the government's ambition to deliver more care to patients closer to home is not matched by resources allotted to general practice.
- Funding per patient has fallen 7% in England since 2010
- 80% of GPs say they have insufficient resources to provide high-quality care
- 47% say they have already cut back on the range of services provided
- Investment in general practice dropped from £8,865 million in 2009/10 to £8,459 million in 2012/3
Dr Clare Gerada, the chair of the Royal College of GPs, has warned that family doctors routinely see up to 60 patients in a single day due to a "chronic shortfall" of GPs and funding:
Our figures should send out a warning to Government and the rest of the NHS that we will soon have a catastrophe on our hands if urgent action is not taken to reverse the decline in funding for general practice and provide GPs with an appropriate amount to spend on each patient every year ...
GPs are keen to do more for their patients but we are heaving under the pressure of ever increasing workloads and diminishing resources, including a chronic shortfall of GPs.
Some of us are routinely working 11-hour days with up to 60 patient contacts in a single day and this is not safe or sustainable, for patients or GPs. We simply cannot do more without the funding and resources to back it up.
The Royal College of GPs (RCGP) is calling for "emergency" measures to close a £400 million financial "black hole" in services.
The family doctors body said funding cuts over the past three years are already having a "disastrous effect on patient care".
They said there has been a seven percent drop in funding per person in England from 2010 to 2013, due to the £400 million fall in investment and population growth.
Dr Clare Gerada, chair of RCGP, said that while more than 90 percent of patient contact within the NHS is with a GP, only nine percent of the entire budget is currently awarded to general practices.
The Department of Health said it is aware there are issues surrounding complaints in the NHS, which is why it has commissioned reports on the systems.
It is in the interests of everyone who cares about the NHS - from patients, to doctors and nurses - that patients can trust that, when they make a complaint, it is dealt with correctly and thoroughly.
We know that there are issues with how hospitals handle complaints and that's why we asked Ann Clwyd and Tricia Hart to carry out a review into the system.
We look forward to their recommendations.