Lansley Promises 'Changes' After No Confidence Vote

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has promised there will be "substantive changes" in his bill to reform the NHS, after nurses voted overwhelmingly in favour of a motion of no confidence in him.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has promised there will be "substantive changes" in his bill to reform the NHS, after nurses voted overwhelmingly in favour of a motion of no confidence in him.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has refused to give a speech at the Royal College of Nursing conference

Just under 99% of delegates at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) conference in Liverpool voted against his management of NHS reforms.

But Mr Lansley pointed out that the RCN and other medical professionals support the basic principles of his reforms and said amendments to the bill will address several myths - principally that they would mark the start of the privatisation of the health service.

Mr Lansley told Sky News that the additional competitiveness in the NHS will be a competition of quality, not a competition of price.

The Health Secretary, along with the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, has been meeting members of the so-called third sector of voluntary organisations in Downing Street to hear their concerns, part of what the Government is calling a "listening process"

Representatives from organisations like Mind, Mencap and Asthma UK are being consulted while the reforms have been put on hold.

Mr Lansley will hold a question and answer session with 60 delegates at the RCN conference in Liverpool later today, but he has declined to address the group, saying he was there to "listen not to lecture".

He will be the first Health Secretary for eight years not to address the entire congress.

The RCN have accused him of running scared, and voted for the first time in 30 years that they have no confidence in him.

And in a further blow to the Health Secretary, the president of the College of Emergency Medicine said funding problems in the NHS were already harming patient care.

Speaking to The Guardian, John Heyworth said: "The emergency care system is struggling to cope at the moment.

health secretary Andrew Lansley

"Many departments spend their time firefighting because of the number of patients coming in, the limited number of emergency department staff and limited availability of beds."

Ed Miliband and Labour, meanwhile, are claiming that waiting lists are already growing, and that standards in the NHS are in danger.

Mr Miliband hit out at the proposals, saying "the answer to a bad bill is not to slow it down, but to junk it."

He told a press conference: "These proposals leave enormous scope for unintended consequences and the erosion of national standards.

"I have never heard the Government explain what the effect of this transfer of power over charging to GPs will be, nor seek to defend it.

"The bill is a Pandora's Box. The more people look at the detail, the more profound and worrying the implications appear to be for the NHS."

"We know what a sham consultation this is when the Health Secretary will not even go and talk to nurses in the open about his bill.

"It's no wonder he faces an unprecedented vote of no confidence."

The Health Secretary was criticised during the first day of the RCN conference.

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (2nd R), Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg (3rd R), and Health Secretary Andrew Lansley

Julian Newell, an A&E nurse from Sheffield, told the gathering: "I think it's a shame Andrew Lansley does not have the guts to come up and face congress as a whole.

"I would rather us say, if you can't face congress as a whole then we don't want to meet with him."

RCN chief executive Peter Carter said: "Andrew's office has said what he would prefer is to come and speak to a smaller group, not to the whole of congress."

Sky News