GPC calls for Health Bill withdrawal and explains commissioning fears

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman today wrote to England's GPs explaining why it wants the Health Bill withdrawn and describing how it would make commissioning 'much harder'.

Dr Buckman: proposals for a ‘quality premium’ could cause  damage to the relationship GPs have with their patients
Dr Buckman: proposals for a ‘quality premium’ could cause damage to the relationship GPs have with their patients

Dr Buckman's letter warned GPs that  ‘the ability for ordinary GPs to change things will diminish' under the Health Bill.

Despite supporting clinical commissioning, Dr Buckman warned that the Bill would make the process ‘much harder’.

‘Clinically-led commissioning does not require legislation, as the many clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) already running under PCT auspices can testify,’ he said.

Dr Buckman warned that proposals for a ‘quality premium’ could cause irreparable damage to the relationship GPs have with their patients while at the same time GPs would be blamed by their patients for having to close services for financial reasons

The letter urged the government to listen to the concerns of GPs considered a ‘sensible alternative’ to the Bill.

This alternative could allow commissioning to be truly clinically led and ensure increased co-operation between providers, including local authorities, Dr Buckman said.

'As chairman of the elected representative body of all GPs, I am mindful of the wide variety of views within the profession, and the potentially divisive nature of the changes being set in motion as part of the Health Bill.

'Yet no matter what role we as individuals play in the wider NHS, what defines and unites us all is our practice of primary medical care and our compact with our patients. We urge the government to listen and act on the concerns of GPs in the interests of the future of the NHS and what is best for patients - there is a sensible alternative to proceeding with this Bill,' Dr Buckman wrote.

The BMA will ask GPs to write to their MPs outlining their concerns ahead of the Bill returning to the House of Commons later this month.

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