CCGs' leaders call on Cameron to drop the Health Bill

Two clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have written to the prime minister expressing their opposition to the Health Bill.

Dr Everington: ‘Local GPs were very keen that we should make our opposition to these proposals clear to the prime minister.’
Dr Everington: ‘Local GPs were very keen that we should make our opposition to these proposals clear to the prime minister.’

Tower Hamlets CCG and City and Hackney CCG both wrote to David Cameron to express their concerns over the Bill.

Dr Haren Patel, co-chair of City and Hackney CCG said: ‘We have been involved as GPs in commissioning for the last five years, and have brought about many improvements for our patients…The Bill will not help us continue with these improvements; it will hinder us.’

The co-chairs stressed their involvement in clinical commissioning was not evidence of their endorsement of the Bill.

Co-chair Dr Clare Highton added: ‘We have been elected by our fellow health professionals to the board of this CCG so that we can help to improve patient care. We object to the prime minister using this as evidence that we support the Bill.’

In the letter to Mr Cameron, City and Hackney CCG laid out the improvements it had made to care locally.

The letter warned Mr Cameron that the bureaucratic process of becoming authorised was distracting the CCG from doing its work.  

Tower Hamlets CCG expressed similar concerns in its own letter to Mr Cameron.

Tower Hamlets CCG chairman Dr Sam Everington said: ‘Local GPs and other health professionals were very keen that we should make our opposition to these proposals clear to the prime minister.’

The Tower Hamlets letter said: ‘Clinicians, patients and managers in Tower Hamlets are determined to improve health and well-being, but your rolling restructuring of the NHS compromises our ability to focus on what really counts - improving quality of services for patients, and ensuring value for money during a period of financial restraint.’

Medical Practitioners' Union (MPU) chairman Dr Ron Singer said that the union would soon be launching an initiative to encourage CCG members to publicise their concerns regarding the Bill. 

Dr Singer said the campaign would give CCG leaders the opportunity to assert publically that their involvement in commissioning was not an endorsement of the reforms.

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