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BMA launches campaign questioning NHS reforms

The BMA has launched a new campaign questioning whether the changes to the NHS made under the Health and Social Care Act one year on are working, with the chair of council claiming that the NHS reforms have increased bureaucracy and red tape.

It said in the coming months it would be calling on doctors to share their experiences and discuss what more needs to be done to free them to deliver optimal care to patients.

The campaign – titled ‘Health and Social Care Act: is it working? – highlights key concerns including the dual role of Monitor to drive integration and competition at the same time and the role played by the Office of Fair Trading, which it says is not an appropriate body to make decisions about mergers within the health economy.

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Dr Mark Porter, BMA chair, said: ‘For a Government that campaigned on cutting bureaucracy and red tape, the introduction of the Health and Social Care Act achieved the very opposite. With costs running into the billions it needlessly shook up the fabric of the NHS with very little gain at the end of it.’

‘The test for any government health policy should be whether it benefits patients, and while no one wants to see another wholesale reorganisation of the NHS, doctors remain concerned that key aspects of the Act and how they are being implemented could threaten patient safety. Nothing more so than the emphasis on competition over integration and its failure to improve patient care.’