I want the coalition Government to succeed with its NHS reforms. But to push revalidation simultaneously may goad GPs into industrial action.
The £20bn of efficiency savings are already beginning to bite. How can the Conservatives then spend £156m a year to regulate doctors with revalidation?
It is sheer madness to say revalidation is to protect patients, when to make equivalent savings we are making dangerous cuts in manpower and hospital beds.
My husband’s best man-to-be died at Barts in 1993 because of cuts in care. I visited him as he lay on a trolley in intensive care draped in a sheet, after suffering head injuries, chest contusion and knee fracture from a road accident. No nurse to be seen. He died of a pulmonary embolus the next day. For the health bill to succeed, we need to finally ask the public to chip in with top-up payments for certain treatments.
In the 1950s, a free NHS worked as we did not have drug treatments for dyspepsia, antibiotics for infections and operations for occluded heart vessels. With modern medical advances, and a society demanding the best treatments available, a free NHS is unsustainable. But we must also abolish revalidation and divert any funds to patient care. Doctors are safe. They are assessed at regular intervals – by medical school, hospital educational supervisors, GP trainers, deanery panels, appraisal, and by peers and patients.
This madness has to stop.
From Dr Una Coales
RCGP Council representative
Stockwell, south London