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NHS Alliance and NAPC write joint letter to PM on benefits of reform to ‘counter’ opposing voices

The NHS Alliance and NAPC have written a joint letter to David Cameron outlining what they feel are the key benefits of the proposed commissioning reforms and warning against tampering with the autonomy it offers consortia.

The letter says the ‘loud and persisting' opposing views ‘often from groups with an interest in preserving the status quo' needs to be countered.

It outlines three main benefits of the proposed reforms

:- The trust and amount of contact GPs have with patients which other commissioners do not

- The alignment of clinical and financial accountability for GPs for the first time enabling a substantial reduction in inappropriate and unnecessary service provision, particularly in hospitals

- A chance to speed up the ‘slow and cumbersome' commissioning done by PCTs. Clinical commissioning would lead to ‘dramatic improvements in the quality and timeliness of services delivered for patients'

The letter, signed by NAPC chair, Dr Johnny Marshall and NHS Alliance chair, Dr Mike Dixon, also highlights concerns the two organisations have about proposed changes to the bill that would make it much more descriptive about what GP commissioners could do.

Firstly that fixed organisational structures would hindering flexibility for consortia to manage their own affairs.

Secondly, that prescriptive measures on how consortia achieve outcomes could see a return to the 'tokenism' previous NHS reorganisations have resulted in'.

It says: ‘The health bill makes clear that commissioners are going to be held to account for what they achieve in relation to health outcomes and patient experience within the resources at their disposal rather than having a prescribed focus on how they deliver their results. This mature and autonomous approach is fundamental, is very much welcomed, is absolutely consistent with the autonomy enjoyed by Foundation Trusts and should be retained as a key feature of the bill.'

Dr Mike Dixon Dr Mike Dixon Click here to read full version of the letter Full version of letter