MPs rebel over foundation trust proposals

The government, which faced a backbench revolt over its military policy in Iraq, is set to suffer another embarrassing backlash from MPs this time on domestic policy.

The issue of NHS Foundation Trusts has so outraged parliamentarians that up to 130 MPs have signed a motion condemning the plans. The mounting disquiet over the plans is expected to see Health and Social Care Bill put back until after Easter.

Many MPs fear that the NHS Foundation hospitals will create a two-tier health system - ultimately running contrary to the NHS ethos of equity - through backdoor privatisation. However, the government believe the reorganisation of the trusts will enhance local accountability and improve services.

According to the plans, well-managed hospitals which achieve NHS Foundation Trusts will become independent of government control and be able to seek private money to fund services. The government has said that such trusts will treat NHS patients "according to NHS principles and NHS standards, but they will be controlled and run locally, not nationally".

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