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BMA backs Pulse campaign

By Gareth Iacobucci

The BMA has led a clutch of leading doctors' organisations in this week throwing its weight behind Pulse's A Clean Slate campaign, backing our demand for GPs to take over commissioning without the burden of financial deficits.

GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman joined new RCGP chair Dr Clare Gerada and NHS Alliance chair Dr Michael Dixon in supporting Pulse's campaign, warning that forcing GP consortia to take on debt would ‘condemn many to failure'.

Dr Buckman said: ‘The BMA is doing all it can to make sure any changes are sensible and workable. Included in this is the belief that GP-led consortia should not have to take over PCT debts, as this would condemn many to failure before they had even got off the ground.'

The National Association of Primary Care, a leading cheerleader for the Government's commissioning plans, is also backing our campaign, which argues PCTs should be rigorously held to account for their finances until the handover, and any debts at that point wiped.

The Family Doctor Association is the only major GP organisation not to support the campaign, believing consortia should inherit clinical, not administrative, debts.

GP support

Dr Sara Ritchie,
Stoke Newington, north London

‘Not only is it foolhardy to even consider taking on commissioning with this debt, I believe it is arrogant to think that primary care can take on commissioning without our consultant colleagues. I believe this white paper is dividing the now fragile relationship between primary and secondary care.'

Dr Ken Uncle,
Dagenham, east London
‘I'm very much of the opinion that this is passing the buck. I think commissioning has a much stronger chance of succeeding without a deficit.'

Dr David Lawrence,
Dartford, Kent
‘I have been in PCT work and inheriting a debt basically knackers all attempts to do anything from the outset.'

Dr Charles McEvoy,
Ripon, North Yorkshire
‘It will make it very difficult for some areas to form commissioning groups that might otherwise be appropriate for the care of local patients.'

Dr Coral Jones,
Hackney, east London
‘This whole exercise, along with the forced establishment of foundation hospitals, will destabilise the NHS, cause chaos and lead to poor patient care.'

Dr Krishna Chaturvedi,
Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex

I definitely support the campaign. And the DH must give GPs power over current PCT spending.'

Click here to find out more about our campaign and pledge your support. Clean slate Dr Laurence Buckman

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