The Health and Social Care Bill was much amended in the House of Commons last week. It has now moved to the House of Lords. Many colleagues who had concerns about some aspects of the original Bill, as well as many doctors, nurses and clinicians are now satisfied with the improvements that have been made. The greatest concern that has been expressed to me is that the NHS will be privatized. This is not the case. While there have always been a range of organisations providing healthcare in the NHS, the improvements in the Bill create a much stronger regulator ensuring that decisions about services will be decided on quality not price. I am always happy to answer questions on this or any bills so please feel free to contact me.
Regular readers will be aware of the action I have taken over the past year to try and prevent a repeat of the dreadful price hikes in heating oil experienced by constituents last winter. I felt that some companies were rigging the market. I took this issue up with the Energy Minister personally and in Parliament. I asked him to refer the issue to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for investigation. He did and the OFT has taken some decisive action to make sure that accurate information about suppliers and prices is now available. The full report of their investigation is due out later this month and I will be watching closely to see that action is taken on any further recommendations, to ensure a properly functioning market that is not ripping off customers.
On Saturday, I enjoyed watching youngsters competing on Cathedral Green in Cornish Wrestling. Apparently judo was based on this ancient sport! Congratulations to all those involved in keeping this old Cornish sport alive. It was also a rare treat to visit the Bell Tower of the Cathedral. What a magnificent achievement for all those involved in fundraising for the new bells.
On Sunday, I joined the congregation of people of many different faiths in Truro Cathedral to commemorate the terrorist attacks on America ten years ago. Like so many families across my constituency I felt personally involved in the events of 9/11 and appreciated the opportunity to reflect during the service of moving music and thought provoking words from the wide range of faith groups represented.