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Scottish GPC leader launches broadside on ‘market-based’ NHS reform

By Nigel Praities

The leader of the Scottish GPC has attacked NHS reforms in England as dangerous for patients, and set out an alternative strategy for Scotland's health service.

Addressing the Scottish LMC Conference in Clydebank today, GPC chair Dr Dean Marshall said the consequences of reforms to increase competition in the NHS could be ‘severe' for patients.

‘I want to send a message to our politicians in both England and Scotland. Our health service is not a factory, the health service cannot be treated like a commercial enterprise, our patients are not a commodity.

‘We do not support the market-based reforms being pushed through in England, where the consequences for patients could be severe indeed. Scotland's GPs will support colleagues in England to preserve the founding principles of the NHS.'

Dr Marshall also set out a strategy for the Scottish Government to work in partnership with GPs to develop a new strategy to drive the service forward.

He said: ‘We have begun this process with the publication of our own policy document, but we still have a long way to go to convince politicians of the contribution that we can make to the improvement of care for patients.

‘We still have to convince politicians that clinical leadership by those delivering the service is the way forward. We still have to convince politicians to put patient care before political priority.'

Dr Dean Marshall