GP leaders back Future Forum proposals but await more detail

The BMA and RCGP have backed the overall thrust of changes to the Health Bill proposed by the NHS Future Forum.

Dr Gerada: RCGP is ‘reassured that things are moving in the right direction’.
Dr Gerada: RCGP is ‘reassured that things are moving in the right direction’.

But they warned that how the government responds to the recommendations will be the key factor.

The expert panel set up to review the NHS reforms published its findings on Monday.

BMA chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum said: ‘The Future Forum’s recommendations address many of the BMA’s key concerns. We are hopeful that our ‘missing’ concerns, such as the excessive power of the NHS Commissioning Board over consortia and the so called ‘quality premium’ will be addressed as more detail emerges.'

RCGP chairwoman Dr Clare Gerada said the College was ‘reassured that things are moving in the right direction’.

‘We are encouraged by the Forum’s recommendations for the future role of Monitor in relation to competition, and the report’s insistence that private providers should not be allowed to ‘cherry pick’ patients,’ she said.

‘But we still have a number of outstanding concerns about the potential risks and unexpected consequences of the proposals. We need the government to reassure us that GPs will be given the freedom and autonomy to lead the decision-making and design of future integrated health systems drawing on the support of other health, social care and third sector services. We support clinician-led commissioning but continue to believe that GPs are best placed to lead this process.

'We also need further guarantees that changes to geographic and practice boundaries, and the tendering for services will not disrupt the continuity of care that is so vitally important to patients.'

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