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Independents' Day

NHS board under fire

GPs fear plans for an independent NHS board, backed by the BMA and tipped to become new Government policy, would leave the health service at the mercy of unaccountable 'spin doctors'.

Chancellor Gordon Brown, widely expected to become Prime Minister next month, is understood to back plans for a board, and the BMA also mooted a board idea in a controversial 'green paper' on the future of the NHS released last week.The report's recommendations will be certain to spark fierce debate at next month's BMA annual representatives meeting in Torquay, having come under fire from a string of GPs. Dr Kailash Chand, a GP in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, described the BMA recommendation as an 'own goal'. He said: 'The BMA alternative plan for the future of the NHS is to say the least disappointing. At worst it is a still- birth and at best it is deja vu.'I do not believe it is politically possible to sell the case for transferring power from bean counters and bureaucrats and politicians to the professions and the patients.'Dr Dermot Ryan, a GP in Loughborough, Leicestershire, said: 'If there were any NHS board, it should be people not currently associated with the spectacular failure of the NHS to deliver services to patients.'To have them in charge would only perpetuate the problems because these people have demonstrated themselves as completely incapable of listening. They have already let us down. 'They clearly don't know how to manage this situation – they are spin doctors, not doctors.'

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