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Letter of the week: We support commissioning, not the health bill

The vast majority of the GPs in practices involved in the Oxford City Locality Commissioning Group want to make it clear to all political parties and the general public that while we support clinical commissioning we are opposed to the Health and Social Care Bill.

Being involved in clinical commissioning does not equate with support for the bill as some politicians have claimed. We support the stand of the RCGP, the BMA, the GPC, and many professional bodies in calling on the coalition Government to withdraw the bill. We believe the bill may harm patient care by reducing the NHS spirit of co-operation and increasing a competitive market for healthcare, which may lead to fragmentation of care. The bill is likely to increase costs and bureaucracy. If services fail, this may lead to reduced access, greater inequity, reduced quality of healthcare and worse outcomes.

The 2010 Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy telephone survey of 20,638 patients across 11 countries showed that the UK healthcare system was one of the best in the developed world. The UK only spends 8.7% of GDP to achieve this, whereas the US spends 16% of GDP for worse outcomes. The UK does not need this bill. GPs will be happy to continue to commission, working collaboratively with PCT clusters. We all exist now, without legislation. There is no need for an extraordinarily complex reorganisation that no one voted for.

From Dr Fiona Duxbury and 24 practices from Oxford City Locality Commissioning Group

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