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More GP commissioners withdraw support from health bill

A third commissioning group has followed in the footsteps of GPs in Tower Hamlets and City and Hackney by coming out in opposition to the Health and Social Care Bill.

The Oxford City Locality Commissioning Group, part of Oxfordshire CCG, has written to representatives of all political parties to stress that being involved in clinical commissioning ‘does not equate with support for the bill as some politicians have tried to claim', and claiming that ‘the UK does not need this bill'. 

It comes after Tower Hamlets CCG and City and Hackney CCG recently wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron asking for the bill to be withdrawn on similar grounds, with both groups of the belief that it the legislation would hamper rather than help commissioners.

The latest letter, signed by 24 local practices in Oxford, says the bill ‘may harm patient care' by ‘reducing the NHS spirit of co-operation and increasing a competitive market of health care which may lead to fragmentation of care'.

It also echoed the concern of many health bill critics that the legislation is ‘likely to increase costs and bureaucracy' in the health service.

The letter reads: ‘The vast majority of the GPs in practices involved in the Oxford City Locality Commissioning Group want to make it clear to all political parties and the general public that whilst we support clinical commissioning we are opposed to the Health and Social Care Bill.'

‘The UK does not need this bill. GPs will be happy to continue to commission working collaboratively with PCT clusters. We all exist now, without legislation. There is no need for an extraordinarily complex reorganization that no one voted for before the election.' 

Read the full letter here.