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Independents' Day

BMA warns of a new health 'super-regulator'

The BMA this week expressed fears that a new health super regulator will expose GPs to yet more regulatory scrutiny.

The Care Quality Commission, unveiled by the Government last week, will replace the Healthcare Commission, the Commission for Social Care Inspection and the Mental Health Act Commission.

As well as playing a central role in the battle against healthcare associated infections, with sweeping new powers to close hospital wards that do not meets its standards, the body is also aimed at ‘strengthening the current system of regulation'.

The Government said as part of its get tough approach it would consult on the primary care role of the new body, but BMA chair Dr Hamish Meldrum said that while patient safety was ‘paramount' it was concerned about yet more layers of regulation.

He said: ‘The BMA is concerned that, only a few years after the Healthcare Commission was set up, it is about to be abolished to make way for yet another new regulatory body.

‘The NHS has been suffering from too much reorganisation and, it appears that, as soon as doctors and managers start getting used to one system, it's all change.

‘We will want to ensure any changes are proportionate, fair, avoid duplication and work with the system of professional regulation that is already in place.'

The Government said the Care Quality Commission – originally due to be called Ofcare – had a key role to play in supporting patient choice, through assessing all providers of health care, including GPs, to ensure they were providing value for taxpayers' money.

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