BMA says Cameron's NHS speech is 'a step in right direction'

The BMA has said David Cameron's speech on the future of the NHS yesterday represented 'significant step in the right direction'.

Dr Meldrum: 'Today’s speech is an indication of a significant step in the right direction’
Dr Meldrum: 'Today’s speech is an indication of a significant step in the right direction’

BMA chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum said: ‘While we obviously await the details of the Future Forum report, and the amendments to the Bill, today’s speech is an indication of a significant step in the right direction.’

‘The Prime Minister’s speech suggests he is committed to integrated NHS services, and the involvement of a wider range of staff in their design.’

‘However, he also spoke in glowing terms about the benefits of competition, and we would point to the many damaging effects its application in the NHS has had so far.

Royal College of Nursing Chief executive & general secretary Dr Peter Carter, said the RCN was pleased that the Prime Minister had used the ‘pause’ to reflect on the concerns of the public and professionals.

He said he recognised a need for reform in the NHS but warned that they ‘must not undermine achievements in the NHS in recent times'.

Dr Carter said: ‘the Prime Minister appears to have gone some way in listening to our concerns that commissioning should be clinically-led with nurses involved at every level. However, we will be asking for much more detail on this’.

The RCN is also concerned over the inclusion of competition in NHS reforms, Dr Carter said.

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) welcomed the Prime Minister’s commitment to the integration of services.

President of the college Sir Richard Thompson said: ‘The government must take this opportunity to amend the Health and Social Care Bill so that patient safety and integrated care are at the heart of the reforms.

This can only be achieved with a commitment to include hospital doctors on commissioning boards, and robust arrangements for involving specialists at a national level.

The RCP looks forward to the NHS Future Forum’s report on improving the Health and Social Care Bill in the coming weeks.’

The RCP said it also has concerns with the proposed changes to postgraduate medical training.

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