The ultimate NHS gamble

By Ian Dunt

David Cameron took a serious gamble with NHS reform today, as he puts his reputation on the line to convince a reluctant public to support the proposals.

In a pivotal speech in central Londonr, the prime minister offered five guarantees he can be held “personally accountable for”, including no drastic increase in waiting times or privatisation of the healthservice.

Cameron on back foot as he makes NHS ‘guarantees’

By staking his personal reputation on the NHS programme, Mr Cameron gambled his popularity with the public on an issue that has already proved difficult to control.

Labour leader Ed Miliband moved quickly to capitalise on the seemingly chaotic government approach to the NHS, mocking Mr Cameron for creating guarantees against his own policy.

Miliband: Cameron is protecting the NHS against himself

“David Cameron is the first PM in history to set out five pledges to protect the NHS from his own policies, yet he has already broken two of them,” he isaid at his monthly press conference later.

Meanwhile, beleaguered health secretary Andrew Lansley, who has been increasingly sidelined as the issue of NHS reform takes a central role, will face Commons questions later over his proposals.

Lansley faces the Commons