This is really important and very helpful information for both CCGs and their PPI groups to know about - thank you Pulse!
Your action is courageous, honourable and honest. I shall certainly be asking my PPG to consider arguing for mass opt-out with, I trust, the support of our GPs. Are the BMA and RCGP doing enough about this in general, and to support their members in particular?
Anonymous firstname.lastname@example.org. "Democratically elected government"? What planet you on? Tories NOT elected, LibDems NOT elected, coalition CERTAINLY NOT "elected". And insofar as they were voted for (not the same thing!) it was on the promises "No more top-down imposed reorganisation of the NHS" and "Nothing about me without me", which were totally broken within 6 weeks of the election proving they KNEW they were LYING when they made the promises: they'd been planning the details of "Liberating the NHS" & the H&SC Bill for at least the previous 6 years. So what they did was not only UNdemocratic but ANTI- democratic, followed by all too much other such stuff since.
As an interested non-medical service-user, I've seen Field in action on lots of occasions since July 2010: several "consultations" (never real in my experience), 2 of the "listening exercises" (ditto), panel discussions and seminars. The introduction was always "He is/I am a GP" which inevitably & immediately raises the question asked above: Really? How much of his time can he possibly be giving to GP-ing? How many "continuing-care-able" locums does he provide for his "patients"? Would an f.o.i request be responded to/reveal this? He also consistently claimed "independence" during the "listening exercise"; given his stance throughout the "Liberating the NHS" fandango this was at the very least questionable in my opinion but one of VERY MANY such questions BBC Radio4 interviewers NEVER asked! (And extraordinarily rarely did they interview anyone further along the spectrum of opinion, ,let alone at the other end of it!) I am alarmed by this appointment.
For whom is he not going to be "a push-over"? The electorate who were never asked & absolutely did not want - & were promised they wouldn't get! - the 2012 H&SC Act? Or the large majority of doctors AND other health professionals of whom the same is true? And how ok is he about "speaking his mind" to the extent of "making him(self) unpopular" with the government paying his wages? Like telling them that "integration" is so much more important than (much more costly) competition that it's time they dropped the latter? I have some respiratory problems - I'm not holding my breath!
I'm really interested in this as a co-chair of my PPG who has put our appointments system (currently very problematic, especially getting through on the phone - which itself is stressing reception staff because of complaints) on the agenda for our next meeting. I suspect we have a very different population (E. London) which could affect both success and outcomes a good deal? Could we have MUCH more info about where else this has been tried? If it doesn't exist, shouldn't DoH be required urgently to set about collecting it, or paying the costs of commissioning someone else to do so? It would certainly be a lot more useful than some of the other stuff they're doing - & saying!