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‘Open your accounts to the public’ NHS Alliance urges GPs

By Steve Nowottny

GPs, private companies and all other NHS providers must open their books and publish full details of all their dealings with NHS commissioners to ensure that healthcare decisions are seen to be ‘transparent and above board', the NHS Alliance said today.

In a keynote address to the NHS Alliance conference in Bournemouth, chair Dr Michael Dixon said a new era of ‘openness and transparency' would be essential to ensure that NHS providers retained the trust of patients.

‘There are enormous issues of trust which can only be answered by openness and transparency,' he told delegates. ‘These might be achieved simply by insisting that all NHS providers – third sector, general practice or traditional private sector – should have open accounts in their dealings with NHS commissioners. Then we would know exactly what value we were getting.'

‘If we really want a fair system then transparency, transparency, transparency must become our mantra'.

He added: ‘The deal should be that we, GPs and general practices, are given the authority to take on work previously done in hospital and, in return, we will open our books so everyone can see we are not abusing that authority.'

Dr Dixon also cautioned ministers against ‘replacing one form of centralism with another' as they handed commissioning responsibility from PCTs to GPs, and called for GP consortia representatives to fill at least half the positions on the NHS Commissiong Board.

‘The National Commissioning Board, Monitor and the Cooperation and Competition Panel must not mushroom into all pervading monsters that might stifle and destroy localism. We have seen that happen before.'

Dr Michael Dixon: Transparency will be key Dr Michael Dixon: Transparency will be key