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NHS Alliance chief blasts lack of consultation ahead of Darzi tour

By Gareth Iacobucci

An advisor to Lord Darzi claims the Government has frozen clinicians out of the implementation of the health minister's NHS review.

Dr Michael Dixon, a GP in Cullompton, Devon, and chair of the NHS Alliance, was one of a string of GPs and other leading clinicians to help Lord Darzi come up with plans for the biggest ever shake-up of the NHS.

But he told Pulse he no longer saw any evidence of clinicians being consulted.

Dr Dixon said: ‘There's been a blinding silence since the review. Implementation needs to be connected to frontline clinicians, to give them ownership. I've seen nothing to suggest it's going to happen.'

Dr Dixon went on to describe the advisory boards, which met several times before the Darzi proposals were announced, as ‘cosy' adding: ‘Let's see a proper plan in terms of clinical engagement and leadership. This rests with ministers, DH senior managers and SHAs. At SHA level, they need to become far more understanding of clinicians.'

The DH said it was up to SHAs to implement their interpretation of Lord Darzi's vision locally. His review called for the scrapping of the MPIG, a shake-up of the QOF and the launch of integrated care pilots, among a raft of primary care changes.

But with Dr Dixon claiming his advisers had effectively been sidelined, Lord Darzi and David Nicholson are set to embark on a nationwide tour to address NHS managers and clinicians about implementation of the review.

Dr James Kingsland, chair of the NAPC, another Lord Darzi adviser, admitted: ‘If we were having this conversation in a month's time, and there aren't a significant amount of arrangements, then it will be worrying. But it's still early September.

‘By the end of this year, there's going to be a huge amount of activity, or the whole review will have been for nothing really.'

But Dr Sam Everington, a GP in Tower Hamlets and also an adviser to Lord Darzi, said he could see why the Government would wind up involvement of advisory board members.

Dr Everington, former BMA deputy chair, said: ‘I'm a great believer in moving on. It's very easy to stay on committees for years and years. Implementation is a different task, it's much more complex, and suited to the DH, because it's about negotiations on contracts and all sorts of things.'

Dr Mike Dixon: claims clinicians have been frozen out by Darzi Dr Mike Dixon: claims clinicians have been frozen out by Darzi

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