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Free as a bird – in a cage ( ungilded )

Our new blogging GP, Dr Clive Henderson, wonders if Liberating the NHS will actually put GPs on probation

I'm an advocate for freedom to commission on clinical grounds. But hang on a minute, freedom ? What freedom ?

Free at the mo so long as it follows NICE and any other guidelines.

And what of the future? Free so long as it fits in with Local Authority , statutory Health and Wellbeings boards and the Joint Stategic Needs Assessment. Free so long as Healthwatch and the Care Quality Commission are in agreement. Free so long as the NHS Commissioning Board is along for the ride and that your probity is not questionned by Monitor. Free to procure those services as long it fulfils European procurement regulations. Free so long as alternative providers don't legally challenge your selection procedures.

Free to continue in medical practice as long as patients are properly cared for. Er, no. Not necessarily. Not if effective financial commissioning becomes part of the GP contract. Fail financially and you lose licence to practice.

Well at least your hard work will be recognised by commensurate pay. Er, no. With luck you'll be allowed to keep your existing money rather than having your ‘quality premium' deducted.

Freedom or on probation ?

Dr Clive Henderson is chair of Goole, Howden and West Wolds locality commissioning group

Dr Clive Henderson Dr Clive Henderson