Labour shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham has backed local campaigners in their bid to keep thousands of health staff in the NHS. Speaking at a meeting in Cambridge yesterday, Mr Burnham said that he believed that the local health service would be strengthened if staff at Cambridgeshire Community Services were integrated into the Addenbrookes hospital trust.

Cambridge Labour Parliamentary candidate Daniel Zeichner, who chaired the meeting with local health professionals and workers, says he hopes that local decision-makers will take careful note of the views of the man who could well be the next Secretary of State for Health:

“Andy Burnham has first-hand experience as a former Secretary of State for Health and as an MP who has seen the damage caused by fragmentation in his own area. Yesterday he outlined a vision of a much more integrated health and care service. If staff in Cambridgeshire Community Services are hived off to private companies, we will have a fragmented system which is exactly the opposite of this integrated vision we are seeking. Over coming months we will be talking particularly to local GPs, who are supposed to now be guiding local NHS decisions. Early indications are that they share Andy Burnham’s vision of an integrated NHS and have deep misgivings about passing local health workers over to private companies.”

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