The RCGP has written to the prime minister listing changes that must be made to the health bill, including the reversal of abolishing practice boundaries.
Topping the list of changes is that the bill should make it clear the secretary of state has a duty to provide – or secure provision of – a comprehensive health service throughout England.
In its paper, the college provides evidence that refutes the need for wholescale NHS reorganisation and calls for clarification on the following areas of the health bill:
– Comprehensive Health Care
– Charging for Health Care
– Issues relating to Market Forces in Health Care
-Issues relating to EU Competition
-Accountability and Conflicts of Interest
-Resource Allocation and Risk Pooling
– Practice Boundaries
– Workforce and Training Issues
RCGP chair, Dr Clare Gerada, said: ‘We understand that the NHS needs to change and we have said all along that the college is not opposed to health service reform.
‘The reforms promote competition without sufficient clarification of how services to patients will be safeguarded and improved. We believe that provider side reforms could deal with many of the issues without the need for repeated organisational change or by many of the proposed reforms.
The college paper follows the AV referendum result, which many believe will push the NHS reforms firmly centre stage as the coalition government tries to find ways to appease the Liberal Democrats.
On yesterday’s Andrew Marr Show, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said GPs should not be forced to sign up to the new commissioning consortiums and that a 2013 deadline for the changes should be relaxed. He said:. ‘A lot of people have said to me – and I basically think they’re right – they’re saying you’re going too fast, you’re trying to meet artificial deadlines, you’re forcing GPs to take on commissioning roles when they might not want to or aren’t able to. I basically think they’re right.’
Dr Clare Gerada