Dr Tim Bland, a GP in the London Borough of Havering, has set up the group with the aim of outlining an alternative to the reform agenda set out by health secretary Andrew Lansley.
The group has set out a manifesto, which it says outlines a ‘realistic way forward for the next 50 years, not the next five’.
NHS REFORM GROUP MANIFESTO
Dr Bland said: ‘My motivation for this is that lots of people are expressing serious misgivings about the white paper proposals. However, what is lacking is a coherent, alternative strategy.’
The 10 point manifesto calls for the government to keep existing structures in place and bring about ‘rational, consensus-based, incremental change’.
It also said a 50-year contract between the government and the public should be introduced, in which the government commits to a state-run healthcare system in return for the public’s acceptance of a reduced scope for what the NHS provides.
It said: ‘This could then form the basis for 50 years of stability in the NHS, along with increased personal responsibility.’
The manifesto also calls for a ‘proper debate’ about the benefits of the purchaser/provider split, for the government to consult GPs before any radical changes and for no more major reorganisations in the NHS.
In under a week, Dr Bland has so far recruited 10 GPs and six hospital specialists to the group. But he aims to engage more doctors of the ‘silent majority’ of doctors that have concerns about the reforms.
He said: ‘If an organisation could appear with a manifesto around which doctors from any speciality can join from anywhere on political spectrum then it could rapidly becomes a significant force.’
Contact Dr Bland on: firstname.lastname@example.org