BMA publishes its vision for the NHS

The British Medical Association (BMA) has published a discussion paper outlining an alternative approach to health reform.

Mr James Johnson, chairman of the BMA
Mr James Johnson, chairman of the BMA

The paper, A rational way forward for the NHS in England, suggests a system which would separate national politics from the day-to-day running of the health service.

A written constitution of the NHS, overseen by an independent board of governors are two of the major recommendations from the BMA.

NHS constitution
The NHS constitution would contain the core values of the NHS and incorporate new ones such supporting education and research. In addition, it would include a charter explaining what the public can expect as patients and carers, and what the NHS expects from them.

Importantly, the constitution would also contain arrangements to determine the range of services that are nationally available on the NHS, together with nationally-agreed standards for the quality of those services.

Independent board
The independent board of governors would be appointed by parliament. This board would be responsible for ensuring compliance with the NHS constitution and would be accountable to parliament.

Mr James Johnson, chairman of the BMA, said: 'The BMA believes that the NHS should provide a comprehensive range of services, available to all on an equal footing.

'When it comes to the day-to-day running of the NHS, the role of national politics should be significantly reduced.'

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