GPs will be forced to privatise NHS, GP leaders warn

The drive to increase choice in the NHS will force clinical commissioning groups to open the health service to privatisation, GP leaders have warned.

Dr Buckman: clinical commissioning groups will have little freedom to make decisions
Dr Buckman: clinical commissioning groups will have little freedom to make decisions

A DoH guidance document on the Any Qualified Provider policy, published this week, outlined that commissioners must offer a choice of three providers for a range of services.

But GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman warned that the ‘unavoidable implication’ of this drive is that commissioners will have to commission from private providers.

He said: ‘The government would say, "Well that’s alright because if they are providing NHS services at an NHS tariff, why does it matter?".

‘Our answer is it does matter because services should be provided by the NHS or by people who are employed in the service.'

Dr Buckman also said it is now clear that clinical commissioning groups will have little freedom to make decisions and instead will be continually dictated to by a number of other bodies, including the NHS Commissioning Board.

He said: ‘The more documents come out the clearer it is that clinical commissioning groups are not going to be free to do whatever they like.

‘Clinical commissioning groups are going to end up being the fall guys, nominally in power but actually being told what to do and second guessed by a variety of other bodies.’

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