This site is intended for health professionals only

Change for the better

Practical Commissioning blogger, Dr Dinah Roy is fed up with the negative hype about GP commissioners


Loads of hot air around at the moment with the health and social care bill going through parliament plus the inevitable media coverage – my laptop’s smoking with all the emails and surveys being sent around! Unfortunately there’s also much misinformation, feeding fears of NHS privatisation, the burden of bureaucracy that may fall upon GPs’ shoulders, and – most frustrating of all – that GPs are ‘incapable’ of conducting commissioning.

Many such concerns are stoked up by speeches from our professional leaders, some of which are insulting to those on the ground who’ve been hitting our heads against the brick wall of PBC for so long. Who says we don’t have the skills for this? And why would any GP give up clinical care for accountancy? What could be more boring?

Actual reports of GP views disagree: the RCGP says 60% of GPs oppose the reforms whereas the Family Doctor Association reports 70% in favour.

Where I work, GPs are keen to get on with proper commissioning – we’ve been trying to do PBC for years, but with too many barriers, even though we have managed to get some new services up and running including Rheumatology reviews in primary care, and podiatric surgery.

We can’t be the only ones who see the new NHS as a real chance to make a positive difference for our patients and a huge opportunity for general practice.

As with all change, the protectionist lobby must be heard and reassured if we are ever going to achieve anything. But instead of creating political hot air – why not concentrate on setting up a system that will actually work, for patients and GPs? At the end of the day that is the thing that will bring us all the greatest benefits.

Dr Dinah Roy