Government has addressed reform concerns, say GP leaders

The government has addressed many GPs' concerns about the NHS reforms as it moves to make a number of changes to the Bill, the BMA and RCGP have said.

Dr Gerada: ‘We must now work together with government to celebrate the successes of the current NHS whilst evolving to meet the needs of patients in the future.’
Dr Gerada: ‘We must now work together with government to celebrate the successes of the current NHS whilst evolving to meet the needs of patients in the future.’

BMA chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum said the reforms are on a ‘better track’ following the listening exercise, with the Health Bill set to look ‘very different’. He said many of the government’s changes address the BMA's concerns. 

Dr Meldrum said he welcomed the shift in the role of Monitor away from promoting competition, but he said more detail is needed about how clinical commissioning groups will operate.

He said: ‘While greater accountability and transparency around their decision-making processes are welcome, they should not be encumbered by bureaucracy,’ he said.

RCGP chairwoman Dr Clare Gerada added that the Prime Minister appeared to be addressing the college’s concerns around competition, choice and the role of the private sector.

She said: ‘We must now work together with government to celebrate the successes of the current NHS whilst evolving to meet the needs of patients in the future.’

It comes as the NHS Confederation called on the government to ensure the new system is not too bureaucratic. It said the government must ‘push power down to the local level’.

NHS Confederation chief executive Mike Farrar said: ‘The government has shown that it has listened to the NHS on its reform plans and has responded positively to what the NHS wanted.

‘As the dust settles, the hard work has only just begun to work out how these changes will be operationalised.’

But the Labour Party said the changes to the NHS reforms means this has been a ‘wasted year’ in the NHS.

Shadow health secretary John Healey said: ‘This is a complete humiliation for David Cameron who has been forced to protect the health service from his own badly-thought through plans. He has lost the trust of the country on the NHS.

'The Tory-led government is reorganising its own reorganisation, wasting billions more pounds instead of focusing on patient care. Across the NHS, chaos and confusion continues, with more bureaucracy, long waiting times and cut to services.'

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