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Reaction: NHS Future Forum report

Read reaction from the RCGP, BMA and other key bodies following the publication of the NHS Future Forum report.

Dr Clare Gerada, RCGP chair

'We are reassured that things are moving in the right direction; the emphasis on preserving the principles of the NHS and keeping it free at the point of need; freeing the NHS from political interference; clinical commissioning of local services led by GPs; and the real focus on reducing health inequalities are to be welcomed.'

'But we still have a number of outstanding concerns about the potential risks and unexpected consequences of the proposals. We need the Government to reassure us that GPs will be given the freedom and autonomy to lead the decision-making and design of future integrated health systems drawing on the support of other health, social care and third sector services. We support clinician-led commissioning but continue to believe that GPs are best placed to lead this process.'

Dr Hamish Meldrum, BMA chair

'The Future Forum's recommendations address many of the BMA's key concerns, to a greater or lesser extent. We are hopeful that our "missing" concerns, such as the excessive power of the NHS Commissioning Board over consortia and the so-called "quality premium" will be addressed as more detail emerges.'

'Obviously, the critical factor is now how the Government responds, as well as ensuring that the detail of the changes matches up to expectations. But if the Government does accept the recommendations we have heard today we will be seeing, at the least, a dramatically different Health and Social Care Bill and one that would get us onto a much better track.'

Dr Michelle Drage, Londonwide LMCs chief executive

'Well well well - cop-outs galore raise more questions than answers. This gets more opaque, cumbersome and unaffordable with every utterance. All will rest on tomorrow and as ever the politics.' via Twitter

Dr Jennifer Dixon, Director of the Nuffield Trust

'In a more challenging climate, clear expectations around outcomes and tight and explicit financial controls, with transparent mechanisms for reporting progress will be crucial. The recommendation for consortia and foundation board meetings to be open to public scrutiny, in addition to just being good practice, helps take us closer to this reality. As does the acknowledgement that investment in good management is essential. We are also pleased to see the recommendation that Monitor's compliance function be extended until Foundation Trust Boards are fully ready to oversee the performance of their respective hospitals.'

‘The Forum has done a good job of helping to clarify and suggest ways that the best intentions of the original legislation can be built upon, whether in terms of creating more patient choice or establishing the conditions for less political interference and more clinical leadership. As a set of principles, the recommendations provide a sound basis for consensus. The question is whether the Government's proposed amendments will speak fully to the Forum's recommendations. We urge the Government to ensure that they do so that the Bill can be passed without further delay.'

Dr Chris Hanvey, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health chief executive

'The Future Forum report recommends a system where health, social care and education services are integrated and are accountable into the Health and Wellbeing Boards overseeing joint commissioning. We think this is a positive recommendation because children with complex needs require multi professional services and this will prevent fragmentation of care for the most vulnerable children.'

Sir Richard Thompson, Royal College of Physicians president

‘We urge the Government to grasp the opportunity to give hospital doctors a mandated place on the board of local commissioning bodies to guarantee integration of primary and secondary care. To encourage this, the RCP also wants GPs to sit on the boards of foundation trusts. In this way all doctors will work together to lead a health service in the best interests of patients.'

‘The recommendation that Monitor's role should be altered from promoting competition to promoting collaboration and integration is a step in the right direction. The Health and Social Care Bill must clearly state that the primary focus of regulation is promoting integration, collaboration and quality – not promoting competition. The RCP now waits to see how the government will reconcile choice and patient safety through the regulators, Monitor and the Care Quality Commission (CQC).'

John Healey MP, Labour's shadow health secretary

'I welcome the report, which reflects many of the arguments Labour has been making since the autumn, and which have been opposed by the Tories and Lib Dems to date.'

'What Professor Field recommends can largely be achieved without the Government's legislation and without David Cameron's high-risk and high-cost reorganisation.'

Alan Leaman, Chief Executive of the Management Consultancies Association

'Our key hope is that there will now be greater clarity about the direction of reform in the NHS. The risk is that political compromise will lead to organisational fudge and a poorer outcome for patients.'

Jeremy Taylor, Chief Executive of National Voices

'The Forum report brings an air of quiet authority to the fevered politics of health. The Government should accept the recommendations and get on with building a high quality health and social care service that works for all of us.'

Sue Sharpe, Chief Executive of Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee

'PSNC broadly welcomes today's report from the Future Forum. An emphasis on co-operation between professions, the extension of a choice mandate to the NHS Commissioning Board and strengthened health and wellbeing boards are all good for pharmacy. The report emphasises the importance of transparency and robust governance for commissioning organisations, which was one of our biggest concerns with the Bill.'

'Ash Soni made a positive and helpful contribution to the work of the Forum, and will continue to do so.'

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Dr Hamish Meldrum: 'The Future Forum's recommendations address many of the BMA's key concerns' More on the NHS Future Forum report of the listening exercise

Read more on the NHS Future Forum report here:

Future Forum calls for April 2013 deadline to be lifted
Consortia should have to set up 'clinical senates'
Choice mandate 'to increase integration of services'
Commissioning under 'any qualifying provider' to remain
Deaneries 'should remain part of the NHS'

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