On Monday David Cameron delivered a passionate speech setting out his vision for the modernisation of our public services.

The Prime Minister said that he wanted to make the nation's schools and hospitals among the best in the world.

Yesterday's publication of the Health and Social Care Bill is an important step towards delivering this agenda.

The NHS faces huge pressures on demand caused by an ageing population and problems such as obesity.  Innovations in medical science continue to put pressure on costs.

The Coalition Government is protecting health spending, but to deliver better outcomes for patients, and the best possible value for the taxpayer, reform is essential.

Health inequalities in 21st century Britain are as wide as they were in Victorian times.  And in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Austria and Poland you are less likely to die once admitted into hospital after a heart attack than in the UK.                                                               

The Health and Social Care Bill will make the supply of healthcare more efficient by taking power away from the centre and giving it to patients, GPs and clinicians.

The bureaucratic Primary Care Trusts and Strategic Health Authorities will be scrapped and their role in commissioning patient care will be handed to GPs.  To be frank, following the three-year campaign that we fought against the downgrading of our hospitals in West Sussex, I'm not sure that many local people will lament the PCT's demise.

We have excellent GPs in West Sussex and I think it's a very positive step that they will be in charge of commissioning from 2013.  As the professionals on the ground, they are surely best suited to ensure that patients receive the right services.

I'm encouraged that here in West Sussex the Coastal West Sussex Federation is one of the 140 GP-led consortia that have come forward to take on this responsibility.

I believe these reforms will deliver more choice to patients and more freedom to the professionals who serve them, ensuring that the NHS continues to be the people's service.

Christopher N Howarth