MPs to give their views on Darzi. What are yours?
A date for your diary, next Tuesday, when we finally get to hear what MPs made of the event that dominated the NHS in 2008 – Lord Darzi’s NHS Next Stage Review. After taking evidence in a series of sessions towards the end of last year, the Health Select Committee will be giving its final verdict on the review.
By Steve Nowottny
A date for your diary, next Tuesday, when we finally get to hear what MPs made of the event that dominated the NHS in 2008 – Lord Darzi's NHS Next Stage Review. After taking evidence in a series of sessions towards the end of last year, the Health Select Committee will be giving its final verdict on the review.
Don't expect too many fireworks – select committee's tend as a rule to pass sober judgment rather than scathing criticism, and the Health Select Committee, chaired by experienced Labour MP Kevin Barron, is perhaps more sober than others.
But it will be fascinating to see what they've picked out of what was, after all, a hugely wide-ranging review – and to see what they made of the consultation process behind it., which has been criticised from some quarters (including the BMA) as inadequate.
Speaking of the BMA, you can see what they made of the review in the GPC's position paper. Solid if unsurprising stuff, for the most part, but the language they use when discussing the Government's plans for greater competition among GPs is interesting.
"These proposals represent the future direction of travel for GPC negotiations with the Department of Health and NHS Employers. The implications of such proposals on list-based general practice must be fully understood, but GPs must also be receptive to the widening of patient's choice of practices. This proposal has the potential to significantly change the way in which practices provide care, and will be considered in great detail in negotiations.
We must recognise that the government believes that it is GPs, and therefore practices, that are in the most powerful position in terms of choice and the provision of services offered to patients. The government is determined to change this so that the perceived balance of power lies more heavily in favour of patients. This lies behind the government's philosophy of choice and the introduction of a market to primary care. To meet the challenges presented by new APMS providers, practices will need to ensure that they are responsive to their patients in the future, or they may face unwelcome consequences."
Encouraging patient choice may not be the way many GPs wish to go – and if you're about to have a Darzi polyclinic open on your doorstep, I'd be particularly interested to hear what your practice makes of it. But that response makes it sound as though the BMA at least accept it's an idea that's here to stay.The Health Select Committee will gives its view on the Darzi review next week. What do you think? The Health Select Committee will gives its view on the Darzi review next week. What do you think? Recent posts